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Does federal law prohibit immigration of people who are likely to become a "public charge," or burden to U.S. taxpayers?

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U.S. Code Title 8, Chapter 12, Section 1182 bans the entry of immigrants who are "likely at any time to become a public charge," or burden to taxpayers. Under guidelines issued by the Clinton administration in 1999 and left in place until 2019, the federal government interpreted this law in a manner that ignored numerous welfare benefits, such as Medicaid, Food Stamps, Head Start, subsidized housing, and assistance with paying utility bills. In 2019, the Trump administration issued a regulation that considers such welfare benefits when deciding whether to admit immigrants and allow them to become permanent residents. After a series of lawsuits and injunctions by Democrat-appointed judges, higher courts allowed Trump's regulation to become nationally effective in February of 2020.

DocumentationImmigration & Public Charges



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