President Trump will ask Congress to consider a law that would prevent new immigrants to the United States from receiving various forms of public assistance for a period of five years after arriving to the country. Trump announced this on Wednesday evening at a rally in Grand Rapids, Iowa.
“The time has come for new immigration rules that say ... those seeking immigration into our country must be able to support themselves financially and should not use welfare for a period of at least five years," Trump told a campaign-style rally in Grand Rapids, Iowa.
The president said that it was important that people who enter the United States are able to support themselves. President Trump also said that it was necessary to ensure that people who are coming to the United States are not likely to need welfare at any point by preventing people who are likely to become "public charges" from immigrating to the United States. These laws have existed for over a century, but have not been enforced as strictly during recent years. Trump seeks to strengthen these rules.
A 2015 report by the Center for Immigration Studies found that a majority of immigrant-headed households receive some form of public assistance. Further, the report found that households headed by someone who is not in the country illegally receive an average of $1,200 more in assistance than a family headed by a non-illegal immigrant. While people who are in the United States are not able to legally receive welfare, they can collect benefits on behalf of a child who was born in the U.S. and is a citizen by default.
Trump's remarks received a standing ovation.