“If on such examination there shall be found among such passengers any convict, lunatic, idiot, or any person unable to take care of him or herself without becoming a public charge, they shall report the same in writing to the collector of such port, and such person shall not be permitted to land.”
1882 Federal Immigration Act
The Left, go here for a sample of the hysteria. is having a meltdown over the fact that the US is going to actually enforce the over a century policy of not allowing immigrants to be public charges:
Under the rule, a public charge is now defined as an individual who receives one or more designated public benefits for more than 12 months in the aggregate within any 36-month period. For instance, receipt of two different benefits in one month counts as two months. A public charge inadmissibility determination is prospective and looks at whether an individual is likely at any point in the future to become a public charge as we define it in the regulation.
Public benefits are defined as federal, state, and local as well as tribal cash assistance for income maintenance and a small list of non-cash benefits. Some examples of the public benefits that are part of the role are general assistance, SSI, SNAP, most forms of Medicaid, and certain subsidized housing programs.
Significantly the rule does not consider many forms of government assistance that protect children and pregnant women’s health as public benefits. Generally, this includes emergency medical assistance, disaster relief, national school lunch programs, WIC, CHIP, Medicaid received by people under the age of 21 or pregnant women as well as foster care and adoption subsidies; student and mortgage loans; energy assistance; food pantries; homeless shelters and head start.
It is important to note this rule will apply prospectively only to applications and petitions received starting on October 15 of this year. Once this rule is implemented and effective on October 15, USCIS career immigration services offer–officers what we call ISOs will generally consider an alien’s current and past receipt of the designated public benefits while in the United States as a negative factor when examining applications. However, receipt of certain non-cash benefits received before October 15 will not be considered as a negative factor.
The underlying statute passed on a bipartisan basis also requires officers to assess at a minimum each applicant’s age; health; family status; assets; resources and financial status; and their education and skills as well as other factors set forth in the rule in the totality of the circumstances. The totality of the circumstances means that officers will assess all of the evidence related to these factors, and no one factor alone will decide an applicant’s case. Most of these factors are the ones Congress mandated us to review when considering immigration benefit applications.
Go here to read the rest. Myself, I would prefer a ban against all public assistance for immigrants for the first ten years of their stay on these shores, or until they become citizens. The Emma Lazarus poem New Colossus, which is on the base of the statue of liberty was written in 1883, the year after the immigration act of 1882:
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
You can look long and hard in that poem and you will see no statement calling upon immigrants to receive public assistance. Of course the very idea would have struck Lazarus and her contemporaries as absurd. Public assistance was virtually non-existent, and assistance was by private charity, the type of charity Lazarus helped establish, The Hebrew Technical Institute, to give vocational training to Jewish immigrants from Russia and Eastern Europe to New York City, who rapidly found jobs and stood on their own two feet.