Aug 12, 2019

Axios PM

Good afternoon: Today's PM — edited by Justin Green — is 458 words, a 2 minute read.

1 big thing: Trump targets legal immigration

Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

The Trump administration is about to publish a long-anticipated rule that will make it harder for people without wealth or advanced educations to achieve permanent legal immigration status.

The bottom line: This is all part of the Trump administration's attempts to move toward what it calls a merit-based immigration system — and a part of its broader attempts to slow most forms of immigration to the U.S., Axios' Stef Kight reports.

The big picture: The rule would penalize immigrants who use or are likely to use public benefit programs such as food stamps, housing assistance or Medicaid.

  • The rule would also likely create a "chilling effect" on immigrants who are eligible — or whose kids are eligible — to use certain public benefit programs. Some immigrants will choose not to use the benefits out of fear of being penalized, according to immigration experts.
  • Immigrants reportedly began turning down food stamps after early reports about the rule last year.

Between the lines: The rule will "drastically increase the discretionary power [U.S. Customs and Immigration Services] has to deny immigration status to people," tweeted Dara Lind of ProPublica.

  • "Immigration officials will consider an immigrant’s age, health, family status, assets, resources, financial status and education. But the officials will be given broad leeway to determine whether an immigrant is likely to be a user of public benefits, to deny them a green card, and to order them deported out of the country," the N.Y. Times reports.

What's next: The rule will publish on Wednesday, then go into effect 60 days later.

  • At the same time, the Trump administration is planning to find ways to force immigrant sponsors to pay the government back for any use of public benefits by the immigrants they've sponsored.
Bonus: Pic du jour
Photo: Manan Vatsyayana/AFP/Getty Images

A pro-democracy protester is held by police during a demonstration against the extradition bill in Hong Kong on August 11, 2019.

  • Months of protests in Hong Kong have taken a major toll on the city's economy, with no end in sight.
2. What you missed
  1. San Jose's mayor is proposing a city ordinance that would require firearm owners to either carry liability insurance or pay a fee to cover public costs of gun violence to the city. Go deeper.
  2. Attorney General William Barr said he is concerned about "serious irregularities" at the Manhattan federal jail where Jeffrey Epstein died by apparent suicide this weekend. Go deeper.
  3. A friend of the Dayton shooter has admitted to buying body armor, a high-capacity magazine and an accessory for the gun used to kill 9 people. Go deeper.
  4. The U.S. budget deficit has already surpassed last year's total figure, growing to $866.8 billion in just the first 10 months of the fiscal year. Go deeper.
3. 1 Tom Hanks thing

Tom Hanks will narrate the audio edition of Ann Patchett’s new novel, the AP reports.

  • The book is a multigenerational story centered on siblings Danny and Maeve, and told from Danny’s point of view, per the AP.
  • Hanks has narrated audiobooks before, including “Uncommon Type” and Stephen Colbert’s “I Am a Pole (And So Can You!)”