The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 12, 2019


** PRESIDENT DONALD J. TRUMP IS ENSURING NON-CITIZENS DO NOT ABUSE OUR NATION’S PUBLIC BENEFITS

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** “To protect benefits for American citizens, immigrants must be financially self-sufficient.” – President Donald J. Trump
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PROTECTING PUBLIC RESOURCES: The Trump Administration is taking action to help ensure that non-citizens in this country are self-sufficient and not a strain on public resources.
* The Trump Administration is releasing a final rule that will protect American taxpayers, preserve our social safety net for vulnerable Americans, and uphold the rule of law.
* This action will help ensure that if aliens want to enter or remain in the United States they must support themselves, and not rely on public benefits.
* An alien who receives public benefits above a certain threshold is known as a “public charge.”
+ Aliens will be barred from entering the United States if they are found likely to become public charges.
+ Aliens in the United States who are found likely to become public charges will also be barred from adjusting their immigration status.
* President Trump is enforcing this longstanding law to prevent aliens from depending on public benefit programs.
+ The Immigration and Nationality Act makes clear that those seeking to come to the United States cannot be a public charge.
* For many years, this clear legal requirement went largely unenforced, imposing vast burdens on American taxpayers. Now, public charge law will finally be utilized.

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ENCOURAGING SELF-SUFFICIENCY: Self-sufficiency has long been a basic principle of our Nation’s immigration laws that has enjoyed widespread support.
* Public charge has been a part of United States immigration law for more than 100 years as a ground of inadmissibility.

* Congress passed and President Bill Clinton signed two bipartisan bills in 1996 to help stop aliens from exploiting public benefits.
+ This included the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act and the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act.
+ As Congress made clear at the time, it is our national policy that aliens should “not depend on public resources to meet their needs.”
* Americans widely agree that individuals coming to our country should be self-sufficient, with 73 percent in favor of requiring immigrants to be able to support themselves financially.

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PRESERVING THE SOCIAL SAFETY NET: We must ensure that non-citizens do not abuse our public benefit programs and jeopardize the social safety net needed by vulnerable Americans.
* Large numbers of non-citizens and their families have taken advantage of our generous public benefits, limited resources that could otherwise go to vulnerable Americans.
* 78 percent of households headed by a non-citizen with no more than a high school education use at least one welfare program.
* 58 percent of all households headed by a non-citizen use at least one welfare program.
* Half of all non-citizen headed households include at least one person who uses Medicaid.

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