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Getty Images.

Trump’s administration may make it harder for immigrants to obtain permanent residency if they have received food assistance or other public benefits, Reuters’ Yeganeh Torbati exclusively reports citing a draft proposal.

The reasoning in the draft, per Torbati: “Non-citizens who receive public benefits are not self-sufficient and are relying on the U.S. government…An alien’s receipt of public benefits comes at taxpayer expense.”

Quick catch up: USCIS published its intent in December of 2017 to issue a notice of proposed rule-making changes to the definition of a "public charge." This means someone in the U.S. who is determined "likely to become primarily dependent on the government for subsistence," and who may be denied admission to the U.S. under the Immigration Nationality Act.

This “could sharply restrict legal immigration.”
Yeganeh Torbati
  • A USCIS official told Axios “this proposed rule change would define the term ‘public charge’ and would outline DHS public charge considerations" for inadmissibility.
  • There is a need to change the public charge definition, per USCIS: "To ensure that foreign nationals coming to the United States or adjusting status to permanent residence...have adequate means of support while in the United States, and that foreign nationals do not become dependent on public benefits for support."
  • The benefits laid out in the draft would include some non-cash benefits, such as whether immigrants have enrolled children in a government pre-school program and whether they’ve received subsidies for utility bills or health insurance premiums.

What we're told: DHS Acting Press Secretary Tyler Houlton told Axios: “Any potential changes to the rule would be in keeping with the letter and spirit of the law – as well as the reasonable expectations of the American people for the government to be good stewards of taxpayer funds.” The Department of Homeland Security would not confirm a pre-decisional proposal.

Where it stands: The USCIS official told Axios the rule is expected to be published this calendar year. “But with any rule-making change, no decision is final until the rule-making process is completed," the official said.

Go deeper

CDC to cut guidance on quarantine period for coronavirus exposure

A health care worker oversees cars as people arrive to get tested for coronavirus at a testing site in Arlington, Virginia, on Tuesday. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

The CDC will soon shorten its guidance for quarantine periods following exposure to COVID-19, AP reported Tuesday and Axios can confirm.

Why it matters: Quarantine helps prevent the spread of the coronavirus, which can occur before a person knows they're sick or if they're infected without feeling any symptoms. The current recommended period to stay home if exposed to the virus is 14 days. The CDC plans to amend this to 10 days or seven with a negative test, an official told Axios.

  • The CDC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
1 hour ago - Health

CDC panel: COVID vaccines should go to health workers, long-term care residents first

Hospital staff work in the COVID-19 intensive care unit in Houston. Photo: Go Nakamura via Getty

Health-care workers and nursing home residents should be at the front of the line to get coronavirus vaccines in the United States once they’re cleared and available for public use, an independent CDC panel recommended in a 13-1 emergency vote on Tuesday, per CNBC.

Why it matters: Recent developments in COVID-19 vaccines have accelerated the timeline for distribution as vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna undergo the federal approval process. States are preparing to begin distributing as soon as two weeks from now.

Obama: Broad slogans like "defund the police" lose people

Snapchat.

Former President Barack Obama told Peter Hamby on the Snapchat original political show "Good Luck America" that "snappy" slogans such as "defund the police" can alienate people, making the statements less effective than intended.

What he's saying: "You lost a big audience the minute you say it, which makes it a lot less likely that you're actually going to get the changes you want done," Obama told Hamby in an interview that will air Wednesday morning at 6 a.m. EST on Snapchat.