Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Trump could wind up billing relatives (sponsors) of immigrants who use government services: could this matter to asylum seekers?


Vox (Dara Lind) has an article today discussing an anticipated Trump Executive Order in which “legal immigrants” might be subject to deportation if they use publicly (or at least federally) funded services.  This matter appears to refer to the I864 process by which people can enter the country legally with family “sponsorship” of sorts (which is not the same thing as Canadian-style refugee sponsorship).

US citizen family relatives could be forced to pay for benefits they have used, even after deportation.
 
I wonder if this could apply to asylum seekers.  Right now, there is no legal recognition of “sponsorship” for a host (as is possible in Canada).  But if a hosted asylum seeker used publicly funded health care services (like HIV medication, for example) and the host had the assets to pay, could the host be assessed for the benefits, down the road?  Or would this, ironically, argue that the US needs a legal sponsorship process for asylum seekers.

Dave Bier of the Cato Institute has some impressive analysis in the New York Times, Jan. 27, “Trump’s Immigration Ban Is Illegal”  He mentions that the term “immigrant” only properly refers to a legal permanent resident.

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