The Department of State is denying immigration requests by a growing number of poor or older foreigners because they are likely to need taxpayers’ charity and aid, according to agency data.
In the ten months up to July 29, 12,179 people overseas were denied visas to become immigrants because they may impose a “public charge” burden on taxpayers. That number is on track to exceed the 12,973 denials in all of fiscal 2018, according to an article in Politico.
The “public charge” denial rate rose slowly in 2019, but it is still very low. The public charge denial rate was only 2.4 percent of roughly 550,000 requests in 2018, slightly up from 0.17 percent of roughly 625,000 requests in 2016.
Overall, roughly one million people are allowed to become legal immigrants each year. Half of them are living outside the United States, so they apply for residency visas at the Department of State. The other half are living in the United States, so they apply for “Adjustment of Status” to the Department of Homeland Security. The one million total is huge because it is about one new legal immigrant for every four Americans who turn 18.
The enormous cost and risk of accepting one million immigrants each year requires the government to focus on applicants’ qualifications and their likelihood of earning enough salary to avoid reliance on welfare programs, says Jessica Vaughan, policy director at the Center for Immigration Studies. She said:
We can quibble about the number of people being rejected, but the point of the [public charge] reform is to screen out people who might have got in beforehand but should not have because they are likely to become a public charge [on Americans] … That is the point of the [pending public charge] regulation.
The government needs to ask which kinds of immigrants do we want to admit? Those who are loved by their [immigrant] family but are old and will need healthcare and lots of other services without contributing? Or should the government admit young persons who will enter the workforce, contribute in taxes, raise a family this is educated … and support themselves for generations?
The data’s release comes before the expected announcement of a public charge regulation for officials at the Department of Homeland Security.
Pro-migration groups, including the ACLU, investors at the FWD.us lobbying group, and the Democrat Party, have loudly denounced the pending DHS public charge rules as “anti-immigrant” because they may sharply reduce immigrant approvals.