Everyone has been focused on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, so of course the Republicans have taken this distraction as an opportunity to sneak in some things they wanted. Probably the most hypocritical example is a proposed new regulation that affects legal immigrants.
The new regulation will deny “green cards” (residency) to legal immigrants if they have received any kind of government assistance. The benefit programs that are targeted include food stamps, welfare, Medicaid, Medicare Part D (prescription drug subsidies), and housing assistance. So if any legal immigrant utilizes any of these programs, they will not be allowed to become permanent residents and will have to leave the US when their temporary visa expires.
For example, if someone from another country comes to the US on a student visa to attend a university, even if a company really wants to hire them they will have difficulty staying here if, even temporarily, they receive government assistance. For example, if they get in a serious accident and can’t afford our extremely expensive healthcare costs, they will have to choose between medical care and the possibility of becoming a resident in the future.
This will restrict children’s access to food and health care. In fact, it already has, as immigrants are already turning down government subsidies to help them buy staple foods and infant formula for fear that it will be used against them if they ever want to become a permanent legal resident.
Again, this will mainly target legal immigrants, because illegal immigrants are already barred from most federal benefits.
But the thing that is really insidious about this is that the new regulation allows permanent residency to be denied if the government anticipates that the the immigrant may utilize government benefits in the future. I can see where this will go, as Republicans deny residency for legal immigrants who are likely to vote against Republicans if they ever become US citizens. You know, the same way that they are making it harder for Democratic citizens to vote.
How hypocritical is this? Remember that Donald Trump is married to an illegal immigrant.
Also published on Medium.