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Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Trump issued a memo Thursday evening that could require citizens or legal residents in the U.S. who sponsor immigrants — oftentimes family members — to pay back the government for any public benefits used by the immigrants they've sponsored.

Why it matters: For more than two decades, anyone who files for a green card for a family member or other immigrant must pledge financial responsibility if that immigrant uses public benefit programs such as food stamps or Medicaid. Many immigration lawyers have assured people that the law is rarely, if ever, enforced, according to former DOJ immigration lawyer Leon Fresco. That could change.

  • Trump has ordered government agencies to establish rules over the next 90 days that would force immigrant sponsors to reimburse the government for immigrants' use of means-tested federal benefit programs.
  • In 180 days, Trump asked the State Department and Department of Homeland Security to determine whether Americans who are "delinquent on the sponsor's reimbursement obligation" are able to sponsor future immigrants.

Between the lines: Not all green card holders are even eligible for these benefit programs. Many programs require immigrants to have had a green card for more than 5 years. It is unclear how many people the new enforcement rules would impact.

Go deeper

House members and staff will be allowed to bring visitors into Capitol again

The U.S. Capitol on Saturday. Photo: Daniel Slim/AFP via Getty Images

Members of the House and their staff will be able to escort certain visitors into the Capitol starting Wednesday.

Why it matters: The House is slowly starting to reopen after more than a year of pandemic restrictions. The Senate already allows official visits, with a staff escort.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Jury in Derek Chauvin trial heads into deliberation

The jury of Derek Chauvin's trial has gone into deliberation Monday. The judge told instructed them to "reach a just verdict regardless of what the consequence might be."

Why it matters: The jury's verdict in Chauvin's murder trial is seen by advocates as one of the most crucial civil rights cases in decades.

Merrick Garland: Domestic terror is "still with us"

Photo: Kevin Dietsch/UPI/Bloomberg via Getty Images

In his first major speech, Attorney General Merrick Garland warned the nation Monday to remain vigilant against the rising threat of domestic extremism.

Why it matters: Domestic terrorism poses an "elevated threat" to the nation this year, according to U.S. intelligence. Garland has already pledged to crack down on violence linked to white supremacists and right-wing militia groups.

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