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The Potential Impact of Proposed Immigration Limits on the U.S. Economy

Immigration reform makes its way into headlines, seemingly, every day. U.S. troops deployed to stop migrant caravans. Threats of government shut-down if Congress doesn’t approve funding to build a wall at the southern border. But these headlines, while undoubtedly important news, are making a lot of noise while, quietly in the background, proposed limits to legal immigration are inching closer to becoming law.

Most recently, it’s proposed changes to the “public charge rule” that pose the biggest threat to legal immigration and the U.S. economy. The public charge rule, traditionally, prevents those who would rely on our government for the majority of their basic needs from obtaining green cards or visas. However, the definition of what a public charge is may be changing to encompass a whole new suite of government benefits—everything from food stamps to housing assistance.

This proposed element of immigration reform is intended to promote immigrant self-sufficiency. But researchers found that 91% of those who would be affected by these new regulations are employed, the majority of whom have had some college education.

What, then, would the impact of these limits to legal immigration be on the U.S. economy? What would the impact be to small businesses? To members of the job market who have a college education? To the spouses of highly-skilled workers? These limits threaten the ability of countless people to live and work in our country, and could have devastating effects on economic vitality, business growth, and competitiveness in the world economy. The business and professional services sectors, specifically, would take a harder hit than any other sector.

Basically, what the U.S. is saying, is that an immigrant needs to already be successful and prosperous before they can come to our country. But isn’t that the opposite sentiment of what this great country was founded upon? Isn’t this the place where immigrants can come to achieve their dreams and build their futures?

To learn more about these proposed limits to legal immigration and the public charge rule, check out this Wired Magazine article, ‘Trumps Limits on Legal Immigration Could Hit Businesses Hard.’ It offers a great checklist of what might cause an immigration application to be rejected, accepted, or stuck in limbo.

Ask the Immigration Attorney

Immigration law is in major flux right now, and as the major headlines detract from what’s going on behind the scenes, we understand that you may have many questions about how proposed changes could affect you, your family, or your loved ones. I’d like to offer to answer one of your burning questions, completely free. Just ask your question using the form below and I will answer it Friday via my Facebook page!

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