US President Donald Trump’s administration is to make it more difficult for poorer legal migrants to extend their visas or gain permanent resident status. The rule targets migrants who rely on public assistance, such as food aid or public housing, for more than a year.
Their applications will be rejected if the government decides they are likely to rely on public assistance in future. Officials said that the rule change would reinforce “ideals of self-sufficiency”.
Immigrants who already hold a green card are unlikely to be affected. The new regulation, known as a “public charge” rule, was published in the Federal Register on Monday and will take effect on 15 October.
President Trump has made immigration a central theme of his administration. Last week, about 680 people were arrested in the state of Mississippi on suspicion of being undocumented migrants. Pictures emerged of children crying after being separated from their parents. Officials said they took steps to ensure any children were properly cared for.