If you are an immigrant, in the United States, should you be allowed to stay permanently, if you're on welfare?
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President Trump wants to tighten things up. He wants to weed out those people who are what's called "a public charge,” that is, they cost American taxpayers money.
This goes to the heart of the immigration debate: why can't we decide who we want? And why can't we say, we don't want people who can't support themselves. To that end, if an immigrant wants to stay, the administration wants to look much more closely at what the taxpayer is giving them.
In particular, the immigration department wants to look at the "earned income tax credit.” If you're not familiar with that, let me explain it simply. It’s a check, every year, from the Treasury delivered to low-income earners. Millions of people get it. Now, the government wants to ask immigrants: are you getting those checks?
If the immigrant says “yes,” odds are, they don't get permanent status.
Is that legit? It’s a real shift in immigration policy. And it would cut the costs which immigrants currently impose on the taxpayer.
Now when I came here more than 40 years ago, there was no such thing as the earned income tax credit, and far less welfare generally. It was clear to all immigrants back then that you came here at your own risk – sink or swim.
I think the same principle should be applied now. America wants immigrants. File the application, fill out the forms, stand in line and come on in. But don't turn around and take money from American taxpayers.
The president wants to tighten the rules. Good.