Food stamp use by new legal immigrants has fallen by 10 percent as President Donald Trump prepares to enforce new green card application rules. That's according to a recent survey by the non-profit Children's HealthWatch.
The administration wants to enforce what's called the "public charge" rule which would deny new immigrants if they had previously been on assistance in their home country.
“It's good for the government to have clear rules and send a message to prospective immigrants they should not be dependent on welfare programs if they want to be admitted to live here permanently,”says Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies.
“We're not going to count just cash welfare,” she says. “We're also going to look at use of public housing, food stamps or other programs and make sure that people haven't been using those programs before they have actually been accepted as a legal immigrant.”
The move could save American taxpayers $57.4 billion a year.
“These are funds that are needed by Americans, whether they're homeless Americans or veterans, or other people who need some help from their fellow citizens,” says Vaughan.
Nearly one million people have fallen off food stamps since Trump took office in 2017.