The conflict on immigration continues.
The latest struggle pits the Trump administration against public benefits after drafting new rules that add difficulty to current non-U.S. citizens receiving tax-funded benefits.
The rule states that to receive tax-supported public benefits non-citizens must first establish permanent residency. This action would tactically blocks undocumented residents from receiving aid.
In addition, the proposed rules would be used by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) “to determine if they [non-citizens] could become a public burden,” possibly obstructing their bid for citizenship.
Benefits applied to a person’s U.S. citizen children would still place the non-citizen parent in “public charge” status, counting against them in an application for citizenship. This policy is a direct departure from a long-standing policy that benefits to non-citizens not be used in determining their eligibility for U.S. citizenship.
The issue becomes more of a challenge, this time specifically aimed at — not just including — undocumented immigrants.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) wants to become an Intelligence Agency under the Trump administration. This would allow the immigration enforcers access to information and investigatory powers afforded such authorities as the FBI and CIA. No longer would ICE depend on local law enforcement for knowledge on undocumented residents, disarming sanctuary.
An attorney for the ACLU’s National Security Project, Patrick Toomey, expressed concern for any attempt to make ICE an agency rather than law enforcement, stating, “The prospect of ICE joining the Intelligence Community, if true, should sound alarm bells.”
He went on to say, “Such a move threatens to give an agency responsible for domestic immigration enforcement access to a vast pool of sensitive information collected by our spy agencies for foreign intelligence purposes. Those spying tools do not belong in the hands of ICE agents.”
A spokesperson for ICE declined to comment on the ICE quest to become a federal agency. A spokesperson for the Department of Homeland Security did not respond to inquiries.
Congress finds itself in the midst of the immigration struggle.
On Monday the Senate voted to formally debate on immigration legislation. Up to 800,000 DREAMers await their fate as the March 5 extension deadline on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals executive order (DACA) weighs over their heads.
To no avail, Senate bipartisan groups have for months tirelessly brainstormed on a proposal that could satisfy both the White House and the House of Representatives. After the projected February-long process of debate and amendments the Senate envisions putting together legislation that will garner the necessary 60 votes for passage.
Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell (R-KY) agreed to a free-for-all, open-ended debate process after Senate Democrats forced a government shutdown to elicit the concession from the Majority Leader.
House Speaker, Paul Ryan (R-1st District, WI) stated that the House will consider a bill that Donald Trump supports.
Find further information on the issues above-reviewed at DAILY BEAST: Trump DHS Rules May Target Immigrants on Gov’t Benefits, DAILY BEAST: ICE Wants to Be an Intelligence Agency Under Trump, and DAILY BEAST: Senate Officially Kicks Off Immigration Debate.
NOTE: While the source of this information is deemed by governmental reference to be fake news, this author has vetted the news content and finds it to be sound and reliable in fact.