Transcript for Trump administration announces tough new rules for legal immigration
And they're strongly encouraging people to run their water to clean out the pipes. Thank you. And the trump administration changing the rules for legal immigration. Here's Kyra Phillips. Reporter: Tonight, the trump administration announcing restrictions to legal immigration, new rules that will make it harder for immigrants who could rely on public assistance to get green cards. Throughout our history, self-reliance has been a core principle in America. Reporter: Approximately 500,000 people apply annually for green cards. And now the large majority are at risk of being denied under these new standards. Federal law already requires applicants to show they won't be a burden to the United States. But now the trump administration says immigrants who receive or even qualify to receive certain government benefits like medicaid, food stamps, or government housing assistance, could be deemed too burdensome. There are some exceptions. For example, those utilizing children's health insurance and disaster relief programs would not be disqualified. The new regulations will not apply to asylum seekers or refugees. The president has been pushing what he calls a merit based immigration system, but that proposal went nowhere in congress. To protect benefits for American citizens, immigrants must be financially self-sufficient. Reporter: According to an associated press analysis, non-citizen immigrants make up only 6.5% of those participating in medicaid, and 8.8% of those receiving food assistance. Critics are saying this policy is unfairly targeting the lower income immigrants. How do you respond to that? Well, we certainly expect people of any income to be able to stand on their own two feet. And so if people are not able to be self-sufficient, then this negative factor is going to bear very heavily against them. Keyra, this is set to take effect in October. You're hearing there will be legal challenges? Reporter: That's right. The national immigration law center calling this rule racially motivated. And the California attorney general saying this is the latest attack on communities of color, and he's ready to take legal action. Kyra, thank you.
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