Possible Executive Order on Immigrants Using Public Benefits

President Trump has already signed several immigration-related executive orders, and it appears that more are on the way. One leaked proposed order, entitled Executive Order on Protecting Taxpayer Resources by Ensuring our Immigration Laws Promote Accountability and Responsibility, includes a number of provisions designed to crack down on legal and undocumented immigrants who use, or appear to be at risk of using, public benefits (e.g., food stamps).

It is vital to understand that this is an UNCONFIRMED AND UNSIGNED ORDER. At the time of this writing, none of these provisions is in effect. It is possible that this order will never be signed, or that it will be substantially modified prior to being signed. But, because the White House has indicated that it intends to address this issue via executive order, and given that several of the previously leaked executive orders were ultimately signed by President Trump, MurthyDotCom considers it prudent to provide readers with some insight into this (unconfirmed) draft version of this executive order.

Some of the key provisions in this draft executive order direct various agencies to do the following:

  • Draft a regulation that would redefine criteria for determining whether a foreign national is “… inadmissible or deportable on public-charge grounds …”
    • For immigration purposes, a “public charge” is a non-citizen who is likely to become dependent upon public benefits.
  • Draft a regulation that would clarify when a foreign national who becomes a public charge within five years of entry”, … from causes not affirmatively shown to have arisen since entry… ,” would be deemed “deportable.”
  • Draft a regulation that would redefine “means-tested public benefits” (i.e. benefits that one becomes eligible for based on income, resources, or financial need). The regulation would also work to ensure reimbursement from those who have signed form I-864 (affidavit of support required in most family-based green card cases) on behalf of a foreign national who then receives public benefits.
  • Look for ways to combat “birth tourism” (i.e. foreign nationals who enter the United States for purposes of giving birth in the U.S.).
  • Draft a regulation that would require submission of a Social Security Number by both the taxpayer and the taxpayer’s qualifying dependent child in order to claim a child tax credit.
  • Require the issuance of various reports that show the cost refugees, low-skilled foreign workers, and other classes of foreign nationals who claim public benefits have on U.S. taxpayers.


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