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A Wealth Test for U.S. Citizenship

Aug 13, 2019 - The New York Times

Readers discuss a plan to deny green cards to those who are likely to require public assistance.

To the Editor:

Re “Policy Lets U.S. Reject the Poor for Green Cards” (front page, Aug. 13):

Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II, the acting director of Citizenship and Immigration Services, claims that the administration’s new “public charge rule” reinforces the ideals of self-sufficiency by ensuring that those seeking lawful permanent status “can stand on their own two feet.”

This justification might seem rational if legal immigrants consumed the vast majority of public benefits, but they do not. The libertarian Cato Institute reported in 2018 that “immigrants are less likely to consume welfare benefits and, when they do, they generally consume a lower dollar value of benefits than native-born Americans....