The Trump administration integrated rules that could deny government assistance programs, including food stamps, Medicaid, and housing vouchers for immigrants. The new rule was issued by the Department of Homeland Security specifying that green cards - legal permanent residency - would be denied if those seeking it can not convince the consular officer that they will never use programs that the USA government doles out for its citizens.
The rules are among President Donald Trump's most aggressive efforts to curb legal immigration, part of an overall attempt to restrict immigration and benefits in the U.S. They were met with much criticism when they were proposed last fall.
The widely condemned rule would effectively see the definition of who can be considered a "public charge"-someone who relies on government assistance through public benefits-expanded, to the likely detriment of certain low-income immigrants". Cuccinelli has announced the rollout of the Trump administration's widely-condemned "public charge" rule.
It will encourage "self-reliance and self-sufficiency for those seeking to come to or stay in the United States", said acting US Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Ken Cuccinelli, appearing in the White House briefing room.
The New York mayor's Office and immigration think tanks say just the anticipation of that provision already has caused large numbers of legal immigrants to abstain from seeking help through such programs - despite being legally entitled to do so - because they are afraid it will hinder their ability to become citizens or remain in the United States.
The Trump administration has pushed aggressively against undocumented immigrants arguing it favours legal immigration, which it has sought to overhaul at the same time to protect local Americans from being displaced, under the overarching vision laid out by the president, "Buy American, Hire Americans".
The State Department already changed its foreign affairs manual in January 2018 to give diplomats wider discretion in deciding visa denials on public-charge grounds.
The Justice Department also is considering a regulation that would dramatically expand the category of people who could be subject to deportation on the grounds that they use public benefits. He said that through the enforcement of the public charge inadmissibility law, "we will promote these long-standing ideals and immigrant success".
"Self-sufficiency has always been a basic principle of our Nation's immigration laws that has enjoyed widespread support", the press release reads. As Congress made clear at the time, it is our national policy that aliens should "not depend on public resources to meet their needs".
"While we can not definitively prove that the public charge proposal has caused these changes to SNAP participation, we identify an important correlation that, reinforced by anecdotal and survey evidence, suggests a chilling effect: eligible immigrant families are avoiding SNAP out of fear of potential immigration consequences", city officials wrote in the June analysis.
The White House said that half of all non-citizen households include at least one person using Medicaid, the government-run health program.