This piece originally appeared on NBCNews.com
AUSTIN, Texas – No more gaming the system; no more showing up and getting a handout the very next day. In his most recent weekly address President Donald Trump pledged to stop immigrant green card holders from accessing welfare upon their arrival by putting a five-year moratorium on public assistance.
There’s just one problem. Strict restrictions on welfare benefits, including the five-year wait time for immigrants have been in place for over 20 years.
How can you propose a policy change if that specific proposal is already public policy?
First, a little background on immigration and welfare benefits. In1996 there was a major revamping of federally funded public aid eligibility. The Personal Responsibility and Work Reconciliation Act dramatically curtailed public assistance. And within this major welfare reform there was a specific set of limitations targeted to legal immigrants, otherwise known as long-term permanent residents (LPRs) or green card holders. (more…)