WH Issues Statement Defending Their Recent Harsh Immigration Policy: ‘ If People Are Not Able To Be Self-Sufficient, Then They Are A Negative Factor’
Acting U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Ken Cuccinelli was confronted by reporters on Monday over the new controversial policy the Trump administration issued that would make it impossible for immigrants to obtain a green card if they ever used any government programs for financial help.
Cuccinelli tried to defend the policy by telling reporters at the White House that the “public charge” change promotes “the ideals of self-sufficiency and personal responsibility.”
“We certainly expect people of any income to be able to stand on their own two feet. If people are not able to be self-sufficient, then this negative factor is going to bear very heavily against them in a decision about whether they’ll be able to become a legal permanent resident,” he said.
“A poor person can be prepared to be self-sufficient. Many have been through the history of this country. Let’s not look at that as the be-all and end-all, it’s not the deciding factor. Which is why we continue to use the totality of circumstances test.”
According to reports, the new rule will make it nearly impossible for a noncitizen to obtain a green card if they received benefits like food stamps, Medicaid or housing subsidies.
One reporter questioned Cuccinelli if the rules will go against everything the Statue of Liberty stands for. As many of us know, the statue has the writing “give us your tired and your poor” inscribed on it.
“I’m certainly not prepared to take anything down off the Statue of Liberty. We have a long history of being one of the most welcoming nations in the world on a lot of bases,” Cuccinelli responded. “Whether you be an asylee, whether you be coming here to joining your family, or immigrating yourself.”
Cuccinelli was also pressed on criticism that the rule change targets Hispanic communities in particular.
“First of all, this is 140-year-old legal structure,” he said. “We’re dealing with the most recent iteration of it, but this is not new. This was the same question might have been asked when my Italian immigrant ancestors were coming in, and all through that 140 years.”
When asked again about the majority of those likely to be affected being Hispanic, Cuccinelli said that “if we had been having this conversation 100 years ago it would’ve applied to more Italians.”