Trump vows to overhaul welfare policy for immigrants

Posted: Updated:
NEW YORK -

President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that he will soon introduce legislation that would bar new immigrants from having access to welfare programs for five years, but there are still many questions about what impact that would actually have.

Those questions remain because the president did not provide many details on the legislation. He made the announcement Wednesday night during a speech at an Iowa community college.

"That's why I believe the time has come for new immigration rules which say that those seeking admission into our country must be able to support themselves financially and should not use welfare for a period of at least five years," Trump said.

The statute is apparently included in a draft immigration executive order proposal that the president said would happen "very shortly." But that's all that is known, and the White House is not giving much information.

Some research found that former President Bill Clinton signed a major welfare bill in 1996 that included a similar rule about immigrants. "The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996" makes immigrants entering the United States ineligible for federal welfare funds for five years after arriving in the country.

But that bill does grant states permission to allocate funds to address welfare needs of immigrants. States such as New York, California and others use that exemption to help new immigrants. In 1996, Clinton admitted that it wasn't the end of tackling welfare problems.

The question now is whether Trump's proposal will take away those exemptions from 1996.

Immigration lawyer Lymari Casa, of Casa Law Firm, told News 12 the firm is certainly awaiting the details of Trump's proposal.

"Every time there is some new change or something is said, the immigrant community gets very concerned and scared," Casa says.

Casa adds that she encourages people to be informed about their rights.

  • Brooklyn PoliticsPoliticsMore>>

  • NY Gov. Cuomo unveils budget plan, calls for tax changes

    NY Gov. Cuomo unveils budget plan, calls for tax changes

    Tuesday, January 16 2018 8:11 PM EST2018-01-17 01:11:23 GMT
    New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo vowed to fight back against Washington Republicans on Tuesday with a $168 billion state budget proposal that lays out spending on schools and mass transit while also confronting greater uncertainty in federal funding.New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo vowed to fight back against Washington Republicans on Tuesday with a $168 billion state budget proposal that lays out spending on schools and mass transit while also confronting greater uncertainty in federal funding.

    New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo vowed to fight back against Washington Republicans on Tuesday with a $168 billion state budget proposal that lays out spending on schools and mass transit while also confronting greater uncertainty in federal funding.

    New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo vowed to fight back against Washington Republicans on Tuesday with a $168 billion state budget proposal that lays out spending on schools and mass transit while also confronting greater uncertainty in federal funding.

  • Trump's immigration remarks lambasted from left and right

    Trump's immigration remarks lambasted from left and right

    Friday, January 12 2018 5:47 PM EST2018-01-12 22:47:17 GMT

    President Donald Trump's dismissal of Haiti and certain African countries with a vulgar expression has created a furor.

    President Donald Trump's dismissal of Haiti and certain African countries with a vulgar expression has created a furor.

  • Gov. Cuomo: State will sue to block federal tax overhaul

    Gov. Cuomo: State will sue to block federal tax overhaul

    Wednesday, January 3 2018 4:23 PM EST2018-01-03 21:23:49 GMT
    New York state will take Washington to court to challenge the new Republican tax overhaul, Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday, calling the new law an unconstitutional assault on states' rights and New York in particular.New York state will take Washington to court to challenge the new Republican tax overhaul, Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday, calling the new law an unconstitutional assault on states' rights and New York in particular.

    New York state will take Washington to court to challenge the new Republican tax overhaul, Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday, calling the new law an unconstitutional assault on states' rights and New York in particular.

    New York state will take Washington to court to challenge the new Republican tax overhaul, Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday, calling the new law an unconstitutional assault on states' rights and New York in particular.

  • Brooklyn SlideshowsSlideshowsMore>>

  • 24th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards

    24th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards

    24th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards24th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards

    The 24th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards ceremony was held Sunday, Jan. 21 in Los Angeles. Images via Getty.

    The 24th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards ceremony was held Sunday, Jan. 21 in Los Angeles. Images via Getty.

  • President Trump's first year in office

    President Trump's first year in office

    President Trump's first year in officePresident Trump's first year in office

    Here's a look at President Trump's first year in office.

    Here's a look at President Trump's first year in office.

  • 23rd Annual Critics' Choice Awards

    23rd Annual Critics' Choice Awards

    The 23rd Annual Critics' Choice Awards were held at Barker Hangar on Jan. 11, 2018 in Santa Monica, California.The 23rd Annual Critics' Choice Awards were held at Barker Hangar on Jan. 11, 2018 in Santa Monica, California.

    The 23rd Annual Critics' Choice Awards were held at Barker Hangar on Jan. 11, 2018 in Santa Monica, California.

    The 23rd Annual Critics' Choice Awards were held at Barker Hangar on Jan. 11, 2018 in Santa Monica, California.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."