Trump administration wants immigrant sponsors to provide bank information
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) wants to require people who apply to sponsor immigrant family members to give the government their bank account information, according to a notice in the Federal Register.
Why it matters: Last year, President Trump told agencies to find ways to enforce sponsors' legal financial responsibility for immigrants — including paying the government back if the immigrants use certain public benefits.
Between the lines: All immigrant sponsors must first sign Affidavits of Support, pledging financial responsibility for that immigrant — including if the immigrant uses certain public benefit programs such as food stamps or Medicaid.
- But the law has rarely, if ever, been enforced, according to former Justice Department immigration attorney Leon Fresco.
- The proposed change would also require sponsors to provide information about any previously submitted pledges of support for immigrants they've sponsored.
- Affidavits would have to first be notarized as well.
The big picture: The rule could discourage some people from sponsoring immigrants at all. It‘s part of a broader push by the Trump administration to block immigrants from using public benefit programs — and keep people out of the U.S. who are deemed likely to use public benefits.