Trump Administration Plans to Restrict Green Cards for Those on Public Assistance

Is it lawful for the government to prevent immigrants from receiving green cards because they need public aid?

In the latest immigration policy change, the Trump Administration has announced that immigrants who are signed-up to legally receive public benefits, such as food stamps or housing vouchers, could now be denied green cards.  New rules coming from the Trump Administration are designed to limit the number of immigrants who receive or may need public assistance, as the Administration feels these immigrants are a drain to the system.  For the millions of immigrants currently receiving public assistance of some kind, the new rule may force them to choose from receiving the aid they need or seeking a green card so that they can live and work legally within the U.S. Our experienced green card attorneys at NPZ Law Group can discuss the alarming new green card restrictions and what you can do below.

Benefits versus Legal Status

Immigrants coming to the U.S. face many challenges, as do immigrants with limited ability to legally work within the U.S.  Due to the challenges facing immigrants, it is believed that roughly half of immigrant led households receive at least one public assistance benefit, such as Medicaid, housing assistance, food stamps, or school lunches.  These figures are reported by the Center for Immigration Studies, and while they do depict a clear problem with immigrants struggling to maintain a living wage, many counter that simply banning access to green cards is far from the answer.

It is estimated that over 380,000 immigrants who have yet to receive a green card, as well as those with legal resident status, may be affected by the new rule.  Alarmingly, older immigrants receiving Medicare or mothers who receive free health coverage for their young children could feel pressured to go without the assistance they need in order to avoid jeopardizing their status.

The government has long weighed one’s financial status as a factor toward getting a green card, but never before has receipt of lawful benefits directly correlated to denial of an application.  Some green card applicants may be asked to post a bond to avoid denial of their green card, while others will have no choice but face denial. The new law is now in a comment period, and anyone with concerns should make their opinion heard.

If you should have any questions or need more information about the ways in which the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Laws may impact you, your family, your friends or your colleagues, please contact the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Lawyers at the NPZ Law Group – VISASERVE – U.S. Immigration and Nationality Lawyers by e-mailing us at or by calling us at 201-670-0006 (x107). You can also visit our Law Firm’s website at