by Natasha Lennard, The Intercept

Over the weekend, the Trump administration announced new and cruel immigration rules. The rules will not produce the visceral horrors of caged children, but threaten to imperil the well-being — indeed, the lives — of thousands of immigrants in this country. The proposal, which does not need congressional approval, will make it harder for legal immigrants to obtain new visas or green cards if they use, or have used, public benefits, including food aid and Medicaid.

As with the draconian “zero-tolerance” policies President Donald Trump imposed on the border, the administration is presenting this latest assault as merely an extension and thorough application of existing legislation. But the proposal is one of the most radical overhauls in immigration standards in decades. It makes clear that, for this administration, immigration policy is a matter of white supremacist social engineering aimed at excluding and decimating poor, predominantly nonwhite immigrants. Even those who have followed every U.S. law — people here with full legal authorization, abiding by all criminal statutes — are now at risk for having used social services to which they are entitled.

The plan functions by dramatically expanding the category of “public charge,” a concept that has been a part of immigration determinations since 1882, when the Immigration Act enshrined the exclusion of “undesirables” as a tenet of U.S. immigration policy. If a person is a “public charge” or deemed likely to be a “public charge” by the immigration authorities, that person can be denied temporary visas and permanent resident status.

Read the full story at The Intercept.

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