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Trump Administration Targeting Immigrants Who Use Obamacare And Food Stamps To Deny Green Cards

Gage Skidmore / Flickr

The Trump administration is drafting a plan to make it harder for legal immigrants who’ve used certain welfare programs — including Obamacare, children’s health insurance, and food stamps — to obtain citizenship or green cards. The new rule is part of White House senior adviser Stephen Miller’s plan to limit the number of migrants who obtain legal status in the U.S. ever year. According to NBC News, the proposal wouldn’t need Congressional approval and would be the biggest overhaul to the legal immigration system in decades. The administration’s reasoning seems to be that these legal immigrants are taking advantage of programs paid for by “American” taxpayers.

More than 20 million immigrants could be affected by the proposed plan.

Low-income immigrants would be hit the hardest if the Trump administration goes through with its plan. Under current immigration law, green card applicants who receive cash welfare payments are considered a “public charge” and are generally ineligible to adjust to permanent resident status. This also applies to immigrant visa applicants overseas — any potential immigrant who is likely to need cash assistance from the government is inadmissible. These rule changes may cause families to preemptively drop out of crucial services like healthcare or children’s nutrition programs.

Immigrants could be rejected from citizenship even if they are making 250 percent above the poverty line.

“The administration is committed to enforcing existing immigration law, which is clearly intended to protect the American taxpayer by ensuring that foreign nationals seeking to enter or remain in the U.S are self-sufficient,” a spokesperson for the Department of Homeland Security told NBC News. “Any proposed changes would ensure that the government takes the responsibility of being good stewards of taxpayer funds seriously and adjudicates immigration benefit requests in accordance with the law.”

 The new policy would exacerbate what has already been a steep decline in the number of green cards issued since President Trump took office.

According to NBC News, in the 2016 fiscal year, the last year under the Obama administration, 1.2 million immigrants became lawful permanent residents, or green-card holders, and 753,060 became naturalized U.S. citizens. Data from the first quarter of the 2018 fiscal year indicates that the administration is on track for a 20 percent drop in immigrants granted green cards.

Many fear that families will have to opt out of programs like food stamps as a result of the new policy.

An estimated 36 percent of immigrant households receive food assistance and 39 percent are on Medicaid. That compared to about 22 percent of native households receiving food assistance and 23 percent enrolled in Medicaid.

“One of our biggest concerns is that people who are eligible for programs such as health and nutrition will be frightened from participating in those programs that we know have immediate and long-term positive effects,” reads a statement from the National Immigration Law Center. “As a result, we will see people who have medical needs forgo services, and families will go hungry.”

The proposal is set to be finalized and released in the coming weeks. A version of the plan has been sent to the White House Office of Management and Budget, the final step before publishing a rule in the federal register.


READ: As Immigration Officers Trick People To Sign Deportation Orders, These Detainees Are Peacefully Fighting Back

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Over 1 Year Ago, Puerto Rico's Hurricane Maria Killed Nearly 3,000 People (Instead Of The 64 People Originally Reported)

things that matter

Over 1 Year Ago, Puerto Rico’s Hurricane Maria Killed Nearly 3,000 People (Instead Of The 64 People Originally Reported)

jlo / daddyyankee / Instagram

We’re coming up on almost a year since Category 5 Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico on September 20, 2017. The governor of Puerto Rico recently officially raised the death toll from 64 to 2,975. It took nearly a year for the island to get full power restored and a lot of people are far from recovered.

Just this week, some shocking news hit the airwaves.

The government of Puerto Rico has raised the death toll to almost 3,000 people.

CREDIT: @DavidBegnaud / Twitter

The number is representative of the people who died after the storm passed but still because of the storm. The entire island was out of power for months leaving many with necessary things to live. However, there is still a lot of disputes on the official death toll.

The official death toll by the federal government is 64.

CREDIT: @NYDailyNews / Twitter

CNN and the Centro de Periodismo Investigativo sued the Puerto Rican government to release the death records, and the judge forced the government’s hand.

Puerto Rico is nowhere near recovered.

CREDIT: @ajplus / Twitter

Just last week (10 months after the hurricane), power to most residents was finally restored. Highways haven’t been restored, the energy grid isn’t complete and the Puerto Rican government is requesting $139 billion in recovery funds. There is still a lot of work to do.

Meanwhile, Trump is funneling our tax money into a space military.

CREDIT: @Weinsteinlaw / Twitter

Puerto Rico still needs help recovering. Some would think that it is more important to help Puerto Rico rebuild than to create a space force.

People are screaming into the Twitter-verse.

CREDIT: @LynxSavage / Twitter

We don’t expect a reasonable response because there is no reason. It’s inexcusable to scapegoat people looking for safe harbor and call them aliens while funneling our money into a fake bid for space.

What about our problems here on Earth?

CREDIT: @tanzinavega / Twitter

Hurricane Maria is the worst natural disaster in U.S. history. The structural damage and the staggering death toll need to be addressed with all the available and necessary resources.

Thankfully, Senators are speaking out with this new information.

CREDIT: @SENWARREN / Twitter

When Trump visited Puerto Rico, he tossed paper towels out into the crowd. And when he tweeted about relief efforts, it was to say that they were unappreciated (rather than expected of the government).

People are telling Trump where he can shove his paper towels.

CREDIT: @GlennC1 / Twitter

Puerto Rican recovery efforts still matter, especially with another hurricane season upon us, making the island vulnerable to more natural disaster hits. Let’s be honest: Puerto Rico has not received proportional relief efforts.

There are some studies and people that say that closer to 5,000 people died because of Hurricane Maria.

CREDIT: @andreagonram / Twitter

Here a major reason that the U.S. federal government has been reluctant to provide meaningful aid:

  • Puerto Rico is effectively a colony, forced to pay taxes, but not receive aid in turn.

Latino celebrities have done more to help Puerto Rico than the U.S. government.

CREDIT: @ColoringApril @Jenniffer2012 / Twitter
Without any fanfare, Pitbull was one of the first celebrities to swiftly donate his private plane to assist in bringing in clean water, food, and medical supplies to the devastated island in the aftermath. He even brought cancer patients to the U.S. to receive necessary treatments.

Since then, Mr. Worldwide has said he sees President Trump’s “true colors.”

CREDIT: @pitbull / Twitter

In an interview with CNN, Pitbull said, “his true colors are real simple. It’s about money, it’s about power, and when you’re raised that way, it goes to show you what your true priorities are.”

Jennifer Lopez has been one of the biggest champions of Puerto Rico.

CREDIT: @jlo / Instagram

Lopez posted an emotional video on her Instagram during a time when she still hadn’t heard back from her family back home. She urged her over 10 million video viewers to donate to the Puerto Rican’s First Lady’s cause: Unidos por Puerto Rico.

J.Lo and Marc Anthony joined forces to create their own initiative: Somos Una Voz.

CREDIT: @MarcAnthonyUSA / Twitter

The organization aims to bring together sports and entertainment celebrities to use their platforms and talents to raise money for recovery efforts.

Daddy Yankee is one of many other artists who joined the coalition.

CREDIT: @PopCrave / Twitter

The funds have gone to help rebuild homes lost during the storm through Habitat for Humanity, distributing food and water during the months after that PR went without, and so much more.

Puerto Rican icon Ricky Martin went in on the ground to help residents.

CREDIT: @ricky_martin / Twitter

He went to small beach towns like Loiza, which was without food, water or even a telephone line to communicate. Martin came in with trucks of water bought by the millions of dollars he raised for relief efforts.

Lin-Manuel Miranda has never stopped tweeting about his home island.

CREDIT: @lin_manuel / Instagram

Six months after the storm, eight months after the storm, just last week, Miranda refuses to let Puerto Rico slip from the news cycles while people are still suffering and injustice continues.

Luis Fonsi joined John Leguizamo in a PSA.

CREDIT: @FonsiDominicana / Twitter

While Fonsi tried to continue with his tour, he couldn’t without making a PSA to raise awareness. He even told TIME, “We’re all trying to be professional because, as they say, the show must go on. [But] it’s obvious we’re all heavy-hearted and concerned.”

Gina Rodriguez is a proud Puerto Rican and has used her platform for good.

CREDIT: @hereisgina / Twitter

Both to raise funds but also raise expectations and destroy stereotypes that people have about Puerto Ricans.

Literally, people don’t understand how more hasn’t been made of the issues.

CREDIT: @TomNamako / Twitter

The people of Puerto Rico are Americans. They deserve better. They deserve to be treated like all the other Americans who are facing a long recovery.

So what can you do to help?

CREDIT: @AJENews / Twitter

Keep donating and keep talking about Puerto Rico. The most important thing you can do is keep Puerto Rico in the mainstream consciousness so we can make some real change. Fight with your words and plans, not verbal attacks.


READ: J.Lo And A.Rod Share Moments From Their Trip To Puerto Rico And Announce A Donation Of 2 Million Dollars

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