Cornell Immigration Professor says Trump Proposal would Take Away Public Benefits for Immigrants

Apr 12, 2018

A Cornell University Immigration Law School Professor is drawing attention to a more than 200 page leaked draft of a federal proposal.  Under the plan, he says housing assistance and energy benefits would longer be accessible to immigrants.  In his 35 years of teaching and practicing immigration law, Steven Yale-Loehr, calls the proposal – “a sledgehammer on the system.”

Cornell University Professor of Immigration Law Practice, Stephen Yale-Loehr.
Credit Cornell Law School website.

“The Trump Administration is now preparing new regulations that would expand the types of public benefits that immigrants could not receive to non-cash type benefits such as children’s health insurance, tax credit and some forms of Medicaid.” 

The professor feels the draft which makes immigrants ineligible for public benefits like the Home Energy Assistance Program is unnecessary.

“It’s been reported that immigrants don’t use these programs anymore than U.S. citizens.  So, it’s not like immigrants are abusing our welfare system.”

Yale-Loehr adds that the current system effectively identifies fraud cases.  Last year, more than one million people were issued green cards and only slightly more than 3,200 were deemed ineligible.   Another concern he says is that it appears the plan would make it more difficult to immigrate to the U.S. and flag some who are already here.

“Immigrants who are green-card holders could be deported, if it turns out that they received some of these public benefits.”

The professor says numerous studies show that immigrants benefit America both economically and culturally.  He feels the U-S also has an obligation to help people fleeing war torn countries.  Although, Yale-Loehr says by restricting their public benefits in a broad way, it seems like an overreach.  Benefits such as the State Children’s Health Insurance Program or CHIP would also be relinquished for immigrants.  To view the draft rule click here