New Trump rule targets immigrants receiving federal assistance

The Trump administration is moving forward with a rule that limits who is allowed to enter and stay in the U.S. based on that person's need for various public benefits.
2:12 | 08/13/19

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Transcript for New Trump rule targets immigrants receiving federal assistance
We turn to the battle over immigration, a new move by the trump administration would change the rules on who gets to stay in the U.S. And they'll be looking at whether they have ever used public assistance or might use it in the future. Let's get right to Cecilia Vega live at the white house with much more. As you know, a lot of anger over what some say the administration is really trying to do here. Reporter: Alolt of anger and lawsuit threats. We are not talking about people in this country illegally, undocumented immigrants. These are people who are trying to obtain permanent status in the United States and if they are struggling financially, these new rules will make it much harder to stay. This morning, outrage over president trump's immigration skrak crackdown. Aeths one consistent show of a president who is a racist and basically wants a whiter, wealthier nation. Reporter: Democrats denouncing new rules that make it tougher for illegal immigrants to stay in the country permanently if they've used public assistance like medicaid or food stamps. Other 2020 rivals like senator kamala Harris calling the move indefensible, and Beto O'rourke tweeting, if you're an immigrant, president trump believes you have no place in this country. About half a million immigrants apply for green cards each year. Under these new rules, the vast majority could be at risk of being denied permanent legal status. Not effected, people who already have green cards, pregnant women and children and refugees and asylum seekers. We certainly expect people of any income to stand on their own two feet. Reporter: The president trump administration says it doesn't want low income immigrants to become a burden on society even though they pay taxes and, according to an associated press analysis, use significantly less public benefits than low income native born adults. Asked if the policy means that famous plaque on the statue of liberty invited the poor and huddled masses coming down, the president's immigration chief said this. I'm certainly not prepared to take anything down off the statue of liberty. Reporter: Immigrants rights groups say people will end up refusing public assistance, fearing that this will jeopardize their chances of staying in the country. No doubt this is going to end up in the courts. It sure will. Thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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