Advocates: Trump administration's new policy will have negative impact on immigrantsPosted: Updated:
President Donald Trump's administration announced a new policy that advocates say will make it more difficult for immigrants in the United States to obtain permanent residency or a green card.
"If people are not able to be self-sufficient then this negative factor is going to bear very heavily against them in a decision about whether they'll be able to become a legal permanent resident," said Acting Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Ken Cuccinelli.
The administration says the rule would make it so immigrants won't be a drain on society by using public benefits like Medicaid, food stamps or housing assistance.
Erika Brooks, who immigrated to the country from Mexico in 1999, says it is a cruel policy. She says while applying for a green card, she worked two jobs and relied on food stamps and Medicaid to care for her 2-year-old son.
Brooks has now graduated college and is employed as a social worker in Suffolk County.
"I believe people underestimate immigrants," the Ronkonkoma resident says. "Personally, that's what I believe. We come here to work, not to create any problems and we work hard and we want to do the right thing."
Brooks and other advocates are now worried that current immigrant won't have the chance to make the most out of their time in America.
"Folks are going to be forced to make the decision of whether or not they're going to feed their families or remain in the country," says Rebecca Sanin, CEO of the Health and Welfare Council of Long Island. "The message is very clearly that people who are not wanted here are people of color."
The new policy is expected to take effect in 60 days, but several immigration groups have said they will sue the administration in an attempt to block it.
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