Rss@dailykos.com (gabe Ortiz) · Friday, June 23, 2017, 4:33 pm
Donald Trump is so yugely succeeding at making America great again, that ideas he’s suggesting during those incoherent, televised rants he calls “campaign speeches” are instantly becoming law. Or maybe it’s just that these “new immigration rules” he suggested during his Iowa rally this week were already signed into existence over two decades ago by a certain former president he once liked, until his more qualified wife massively kicked his orange rear in the popular vote last November:
Reading from his trusted teleprompter, Trump declared, “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.”
Recognizing the popularity of what he’d just said, the president added, “We’ll be putting in legislation to that effect very shortly.”
As it turns out, that won’t be necessary. The Hill reported that this idea already exists in a law created 20 years ago.
Known as the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA), the legislation was passed during the administration of former President Bill Clinton and said that an immigrant is “not eligible for any Federal means-tested public benefit” for 5 years, which starts on the date the immigrant enters the country.
There are exceptions under the law as to what qualifies as a federal-means tested public benefit. Some exceptions include certain medical assistance, “in-kind emergency disaster relief,” and public health assistance for some vaccines.
“I suppose it’s possible Trump intends to ‘put in legislation’ to change the restrictions that already exist, but it seems more likely that the president is simply unaware of current federal policy,” notes Maddow’s Steve Benen.