Trump administration to restrict legal immigration

The new public charge rule can affect more than 2.3 million legal non-citizens in the U.S., and can limit migrants based on their need for public benefits.
9:15 | 08/12/19

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Transcript for Trump administration to restrict legal immigration
We do want to shift gears now to the trump administration they're changing regulations in terms of immigration and what could impact. Millions of people trying to get their citizenship here in the United States we have Serena Marshall who has been neck deep in all of these new numbers and procedures Serena is kind of a lot to wrap your head around oh. What I think is interesting is you know we talk about immigration all the time with president trump. It's usually about illegal immigration. Yes nervous is not this is not illegal immigration that is promise from the president he's in a tackle illegal immigration. This is about restricting legal immigration essentially can cut the number of illegal immigrants come into the country applying for V is as applying for green cards. And half it would not only get harder to qualify for these it will make eight easier for the administration to deny you're application they're now saying that not only. Do you have to prove that you wool. Not need public benefits to come to the United States theater proved that you will never or could never. Need public benefits now what his immigration rule changes does he was like is that it hurts legal immigration it defines that public charge rule has never really been defined in the current four to now on could anyone could receive food stamps Medicaid or housing subsidies in the future they're going to be looking at a whole slew of different. Qualifiers to make that determination from your education your ability to speak English York. Well how much of the federal poverty guideline numbers you qualify for you to make above the 250%. Market are to be considered a positive weighted factor verses and negative weighted factors should they. Are essentially now moving the immigration system to a merit based system which is what the president is once duped re very long time her for him in May talking about the hair system. Could he get it done in congress synod is essentially an on tackling. It's pretty staggering because I know the other couldn't get that done in congress the statistic that I saw that was pretty wild is that 250%. That they have to hit. 40% of American born citizens don't get that number yeah I had stray so it it is an important distinction in the way people talk about this is. I've heard some people in correctly phrase it is not immigrants can decide receive benefits for just work and come dallas'. About an hour tonight at sonics now that's not ours and it's important also point out with programs like Medicaid for example they're targeting that with this rule change. Already are coming to the nine states yet to prove that you're not going to be a drain on this stump. But if you do qualifying you still cannot access those public benefits like Medicaid for five years. After you received that acts fast but with this legal change they're going to be able to move the system away from Findlay based migration and where you're able to sponsor a grandmother and parents your spouse for example to more. Skilled based migration now that can have huge implications on families for example separating. Parent who might be a stay at home parents no longer will they be able to qualifying come within their spouse who has a job who has a visa to come and marketing and state. Because that spouse might not be making. Quite enough money to qualify for both of them so. Right to definitely and it's raising some questions I know about that the American sentiment. Who want to bring in to the country some critics have been have been saying. You know this might change what America stands for we statue of liberty right to question about that's akin pigeon Allen during today's briefing actually that's right yes so a reporter asked do we need to take off he'd give me your tired your poor. Statement on the statue of liberty it let's play his response. Well. I'm certainly had not prepared to take anything down off the statue of liberty. We we we a vote a long history of being one of the most welcoming nations in the world. On a lot of bases whether you be in a sigh Lee whether you be coming here to join your family or emigrating yourself. This rule cover for US CIS almost 400000. People year. Whose applications. To become legal permanent residence. Will include. Meaningful analysis of whether they're likely to become a public charge or not. I do not think by any means we're ready to take anything off the statute. Of liberty. But you know he said the words meaningful analysis here and that's really important Trevor because essentially they're gonna look at these qualifying factors when they're making a determination and it's now becoming purely subjective. But if you don't qualify because they say that you my eight. Need a public benefit in the future there is eight an ability to pay a feat. And overcome that rule and that amount of around 8000. Allow a case that is a pretty substantial amounts of that was ten could you know he's the director of citizenship and immigration speaking at the White House. Briefing room we want to know the White House now our reporter Catherine fathers Catherine. We know that this is not necessarily a new concept for the trump administration they talked about maybe a mayor based immigration system why and they laid out what they think this is necessary. AS in this is part of a broader push to favor these skilled applicants and less likely. And those less likely to rely on public assistance but as you guys were we're talking about this president has tried to curb. Illegal immigration for some time both legal. In the legal course this is referring it's illegal immigration and he's called border crossings he's referred to them. As quote an invasion and I think it's important to point out Stephen Miller who's the architect of the president's immigration policies he's really behind the travel band behind. This new rule it's been a top priority for him he's been pushing this for months. So I think that's a lot of what you we saw a peach and Ellie roll out here today and I eggs one of the other word we heard a lot of from creation Alley here in the briefing room was quote. Self sufficient he says that this rule is to focus on whether a person. Ways quote self sufficient when we pressed him. On income for example he said. This has the with the president when he and come in their ability to stand down there and two feet and that should determine whether the be able to become. Legal permanent resident. And Catherine we also want to ask do we know a lot of the trump administration's decisions on immigration have gotten pushed back legally are we hearing that a similar things gonna happen here. Yes this is going to be challenged in court we've heard from a lot of advocacy groups for the California attorney general has already said quote we are. Ready to take legal action to protect the rights of all Californians he calls this new rule. A vital he says it's a weapon arising essential health care housing and nutrition programs so we've already heard from him on I have are likely to hear from many more states. And many more groups challenging this in the courts. Catherine folders reporting for from the White House Catherine thank you we also know that with the policy this big that it impacts millions of people we're talking about an enormous economic change so we want to bring in. Hanna Siegel she is with the new American economy Hannah. When you're talking about all of these immigrants and all of these workers I mean what kind of lasting impact would that have on the American economy. Yeah I mean this could have a huge economic impact for communities all across the country and when me analyzed the population of people but could be affected by this role. We found that you know the annual in common with about 96 billion dollars. And and the total loss to the US economy could amount to a total of a 164. Week four billion dollars in your act and or act dollars considered so this really isn't just about. You know figuring out who is likely to succeed here is it's about. Destructing local economies across the country potentially. And handing you in your report an American economy reported that it's going to specifically hit certain industries like construction food services and hospitality. In particular how do we see in those industries actually grappling with this new role he had asked so we have some really interesting sacks their construction there about 5% of construction workers. Or more than half a million people more likely to be affected by this rule. Hospitality recreation food service is. Another more than half a 1525000. People likely be affected you see similar numbers in manufacturing. There are industries across the country that really depend. On immigrants who could now me deny entry because of this rural and you know we have a long history the united states of welcoming people. Of all types tune you know grow our communities but also to grow our economy then and this role really threatened. And Hannah when you look at a lot of big corporations mean as if many of those were started by immigrants or children of immigrants Amazon for example. Jeff basis the child of emigrants you also have companies like do ponds and and one knots large corporations. That were started by immigrants. When you look back window feeling that this is hypothetical but you have family that perhaps that might not no longer qualify who could go on potentially to create giant company like. DuPont absolutely I mean so today more than 44%. Of fortune 500 companies were founded by an immigrant or a child of immigrants. And you know this country has such a long history. A bringing people here who maybe don't have much in their pocket but who work hard and build a life and they do well and their children do even better. And that really is the story of the United States and the story in our economic success and so. Again I think a rule like this could really threaten that kind of success online. That Tennessee eagle the managing editor of new American economy cannot thank you for your time Serena thank you this is a very complex issue we're going to be hearing a lot about it and a lot of push back.

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

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