Trump Administration Issues Rule Penalizing Immigrants for Use of Benefits

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Alex Wong/Getty Images


We ran the numbers: There are 541 news articles covering this topic. 75% (408) are left leaning, 21% (115) center, 3% (18) right leaning.

On Monday, President Trump issued a new rule that penalizes legal immigrants who want to remain in the US but who are considered to be a burden on taxpayers due to lack of financial resources. The new regulation will deny visas and green cards to immigrants who use or are expected to use various federal, state, and local government benefits such as food stamps, housing vouchers, and Medicaid. The Trump administration has argued that the new regulation simply seeks to clarify an existing law that is intended to ensure that immigrants do not become dependent on the US government. The regulation is scheduled to go into effect in 60 days.

Many of the left-leaning articles that we analyzed emphasize that the immigrants who will be affected by the legislation are in the country legally. The New York Times printed a left-leaning article headlined “Trump Policy Favors Wealthier Immigrants for Green Cards.” The article notes that “immigration advocates warned that vast numbers of immigrants, including those not actually subject to the regulation, may drop out of programs they need because they fear retribution by immigration authorities.”

In contrast, several right-leaning source emphasize that the new regulations would save taxpayers money. Fox News ran a story with the headline “Cuccinelli: New Trump green card rule simply gives 'meaningful effect' to 140-year-old directive.” The Fox reporter notes that the rule “strengthened a long-held standard for potential immigrants and green card holders.” 

Centrist coverage from NPR highlights the backlash against the law, noting that “A preliminary draft published last year drew more than 260,000 comments. Many of the comments expressed outrage that the administration would penalize immigrants for using benefits that they are legally entitled to receive. The change is seen as part of a broader administration effort to limit both immigration and the overall use of public benefits.” The NPR article also notes that the regulation is likely to have a chilling effect on the economy and immigrants’ use of public services, as many home care workers are immigrants.