The White House is planning to add new restrictions to green card and citizenship applications for a wide range of legal immigrants who have used public services in their time in the United States, NBC News reported.
NBC News said that under the proposal, “immigrants living legally in the U.S. who have ever used or whose household members have ever used Obamacare, children’s health insurance, food stamps and other benefits could be hindered from obtaining legal status in the U.S.”
The move is part of a broad campaign by White House adviser Stephen Miller and other immigration hawks to persecute immigrants of various legal statuses whom they can portray as a drain on public resources.
Even without any new formal guidance, the administration’s current immigration restrictions mean the U.S. “is on track for a decline in immigrants granted green cards by 20 percent and naturalized citizenship will drop by 10 percent by the end of October compared to fiscal year 2016,” NBC News reported.
The planned policy change comes as the Trump administration’s anti-immigration legislative push has largely washed out: Money for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border remains unappropriated (although Trump has threatened to shut down the government over it), and a proposal to cut legal immigration in half and substantially change who gets new visas has gone nowhere.