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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

Fed: Rate hikes "will soon be appropriate"

The Federal Reserve's headquarters building. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Federal Reserve officials expect "it will soon be appropriate" to raise the central bank's main target interest rate, setting the stage for a rate hike at its next meeting in mid-March.

Driving the news: In a statement following a two-day meeting published Wednesday afternoon, however, the policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee teed up its next move without taking new action.

How long it’s taken to confirm Supreme Court justices

Expand chart
Data: Axios research, U.S. Supreme Court, Supreme Court Historical Society; Chart: Jacque Schrag/Axios

It takes a U.S. president an average of 70 days from the date a Supreme Court seat is vacated to nominate a replacement, according to data from the Supreme Court Historical Society.

Why it matters: With news outlets reporting liberal Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer's plans to retire, Democrats will be looking to confirm President Biden's nominee with enough time to refocus the national political debate ahead of the midterms.

Updated 29 mins ago - Science

Blizzard likely to hit New England this weekend as "bomb cyclone" forms

Computer model projection of the precipitation and wind field from the weekend storm in the Northeast. (Earth.nullschool.net)

A powerful blizzard is likely to strike parts of New England and the Mid-Atlantic beginning Friday and lasting into the weekend, with snow totals that are likely to be measured in feet.

The big picture: The joining of weather systems embedded in both the polar, or northern branch, of the jet stream and the southern branch is projected to create a bomb cyclone. Such storms undergo a process known as bombogenesis, with their minimum central air pressure readings plunging at least 24 millibars in 24 hours.

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