President Trump spoke in Iowa last night at a rally where he unveiled a new (actually not new) proposal regarding immigration and access to social welfare benefits. Trump argued that new legal immigrants coming to America should be barred from receiving any kind of public assistance programs for five years so as to weed out people who come here and can’t immediately support themselves.

Bloomberg news reports on some of the specifics:

President Donald Trump said he’ll propose legislation that would ban U.S. immigrants from receiving any welfare benefits for five years.

“I believe the time has come for new immigration rules which say that those seeking admission into our country must be able to support themselves financially and should not use welfare for a period of at least five years,” Trump said at a campaign rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on Wednesday. “And we’ll be putting in legislation to that effect very shortly.”

As noted by The Hill, however, this kind of provision has been the law since 1996, thanks to President Clinton:

President Trump in a rally on Wednesday evening said immigrants who enter the United States should not be eligible for welfare benefits for five years, though such a law has already existed for 20 years.

But such a law is already in effect and has been in place since 1996.

Known as the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA), the legislation was passed during the administration of former President Bill Clinton and said that an immigrant is “not eligible for any Federal means-tested public benefit” for 5 years, which starts on the date the immigrant enters the country.

There are exceptions under the law as to what qualifies as a federal-means tested public benefit. Some exceptions include certain medical assistance, “in-kind emergency disaster relief,” and public health assistances for some vaccines.

So, does anyone not crack open Google and maybe look these things up before they become a presidential speech? Maybe have a couple people, who perhaps are acquainted with current immigration law, just give this sort of thing a glance over to make sure it’s actually a new proposal?

Doesn’t matter much though, because now Trump has released this squirrel into the yard and the media will chase it around for the day. His base will love it since it fits his “America first” theme of putting taxpayers before newcomers.

Without details, it’s hard to know, but the Bloomberg story makes the assumption that it expands the 1996 law and perhaps applies to programs more broadly, and more classes of immigrants:

He did not detail his proposal to ban immigrants from receiving immigration benefits, which he has not previously disclosed. The legislation would presumably go further than the 1996 welfare overhaul passed under former President Bill Clinton, which banned many kinds of legal immigrants from receiving most federal welfare benefits for five years or longer after entry into the U.S., including health programs, cash assistance and subsidies for home energy costs.

That law exempted certain immigrants, including refugees, people from Cuba and Haiti, and green-card holders, according to the National Immigration Law Center, an advocacy group.

As Trump made the proposal in Iowa, the White House announced a move to slow the flow of legal travel to the U.S.

This is Trump working back into the “keep the base happy” mode, which is something that has become a strategy within the White House. With the constant drumbeat against him, he needs his core supporters to stick with him despite the current lack of legislative shortcomings.


  1. Trump’s next speech will feature his revolutionary idea to have us drive on the right side of the road and to use paper money as legal tender!!!

    As you say: “SQUIRREL!!”

  2. King Jesus says to Pres. Trump, “Not a good idea. And that’s all I want to say about that.”

    • Never heard of such a king. Which country does he reside in? Or are you referring to the mythical character of biblical origin?

      • “I am King Jesus, again, here to tell you that I am in charge of everything and I will be seeing you sometime too (one time) even if you never want to know me. And I want to tell you something more, but I can’t take too long because Rev. Mary Muennig is having trouble keeping her eyes open right now. But I would like to say to you that she is a prophetess (that is a prophet who is a female) and an ordained minister and an evangelist and I want you to be able to be in heaven, which is my home, and so you need to know that you cannot get into my heaven without first having a personal relationship with me–and you can find out how to do that at any Biblically sound protestant church (not one that is a cult such as the Jehovah Witnesses). And that’s all I want to say about that. Very Sincerely, Rev. Mary Muennig and myself (who is dictating this right now via my servant Rev. Mary Muennig) King Jesus”

        • I strongly recommend you consult with a psychiatrist in the near future. Speaking in the first person as a mythical messiah with such illusion of grandeur is a sure sign of potentially poor mental health.

          And, no, I am not in the slightest bit interested in your proselytism of such false and harmful ideology.

          • “Dear Sir, I have this in quotation marks (and I put my other remark in quotation marks) for a good reason, and that is to show you that I, Rev. Mary, am not inventing this remark myself. I am a prophetess of King Jesus and I am simply telling you exactly what He is telling me to tell you. And that’s all I want to say about that. And so, in the future if you see that I something in quotation marks you will know that I am not coming up with the remark on my own but that I am simply telling you exactly what King Jesus wants me to tell you.”

            • You are either :

              a) hearing voices, in which case my concern is valid. Or…

              b) It is you who is writing the comment in quotes pretending that it is from someone else. If you think this comes from some internal source, see point a. If it is merely you, then you may be suffering from a form of Messiah Complex. In which case, my concern for your mental health is still valid.

              Your religious convictions are your own. No one else is interested in your proselytism. And when you claim to be hearing voices in your head and speaking in quotes for this imaginary voice, then people will be concerned for your mental health.

            • “Dear Sir, I am King Jesus who is dictating this to you and I am not going to forget that you’ve said this. And, furthermore, if you are planning on being here in my situation IN HEAVEN then FORGET IT! And that’s all I want to say about that.”

          • Mano: Ease up. The people here know what Mary’s saying, whether we appreciate it or not.

            Also, you might want to back off the atheism a bit. Something like 86% of Americans claim to be religious, so you’re greatly reducing your sympathetic audience if you ridicule them. When the left was powerful, ministers were marching for leftist issues. You’d do well to hope some of them come back to your side.

            • Argument from popularity fallacy, I’m afraid. I don’t see any chastisement for Mary telling her to back off on her theism? Bias much? I would not need to address this if this imaginary king had not been invoked in the first place. I am free to speak my mind civilly just as much as she is. If you use your freedom of speech to spout mythical nonsense as a truth claim, then you can reasonably expect others to use their equal freedom of speech to respond to it.

              And my concern for her health is genuine, not an insult, given the way she worded her response. If you know different, I shall happily accept your explanation. She still needs to quit with the proselytism. I already stated that it was of no interest and it is still occurring. Tell her to ease off the theism rather criticizing me for rightfully responding to it.

            • The difference is that Mary was expressing her ideas/beliefs. She wasn’t condemning yours.

              Honey vs. vinegar and all that.

            • Beliefs are not beyond interrogation, reproach or condemnation, if necessary. Any belief, even my own. We are somehow allowed to question political beliefs, yet not religious beliefs. Sorry, but religious beliefs do not get an exemption from questioning. They are precisely the same as any other belief. And if someone pushes their belief as a truth claim, then it is open to just that kind of questioning.

  3. Absolutely ludicrous and a complete red herring to a minor problem at best. The real economic problem is in tax evasion and tax fraud of the rich. Welfare fraud is a very minor problem compared to that. If welfare was such a good proposition, then why isn’t everyone flocking to get on it and ceasing their employment? Because it is a pittance and its related fraud is a drop in the ocean compared to tax issues. That is where our economic concern should be focused.

    • A pittance? Dream on. 90% of those in the inner city where I taught were on welfare. It wasn’t bad.

      Remember those that write the tax laws for the rich allow tax evasion. Under Obama the rich got richer, right?

  4. I don’t doubt that Bubba passed this law in 1996, but the question is, was it enforced? In the scenario I am going to present, NO it wasn’t.?

    Shortly after my wife and I married in the late 90’s, she went to work as a HOME AID WORKER. In the early 2000’s, for 5 years she assisted an old woman. She performed various household tasks for her as well as took her to the doctor, which was often.?

    This woman lived in subsidized housing, got more in social security than my mother did (My mother worked over 30 yrs.), got free medical (MEDI-CAL), received subsidized tickets for taxis (She paid 1/6 of their worth) and finally was given an allowance to pay my wife by the city of San Francisco. Of course she hadn’t worked a day in this country, but was SPONGING off of the taxpayers.?

    Also her son who had sponsored her to come to the US was making over 6 figures a year. This was great for him, let the liberal idiots in San Francisco pay for her.?

    I hope President Trump takes the present law and does away with the loopholes. In my scenario apparently this woman found a loophole large enough to drive a truck through.?

    • Where do you come up with these weirdos? Your anecdotal examples are extreme as to stretch credibility.

      • If I weren’t told of the things I mentioned in my post by my wife, I would have difficulty believing it as well. But there would be no reason for my wife to lie to me. So believe it or not, I didnt STRETCH CREDIBILITY one bit in my post.

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