In an interview with Breitbart from the Oval Office on Monday, President Donald Trump explained that while he has nothing against immigration as a concept, it was high time that the U.S. exerted some control over who was coming to this country and what they could contribute once here.
“I don’t want to have anyone coming in that’s on welfare,” Trump said. “We have a problem, because we have politicians that are not strong, or they have bad intentions, or they want to get votes, because they think if they come in they’re going to vote Democrat, you know, for the most part.
“They’ll take anybody into this country and we’re not allowing it, but because of the success of the country economically, some people say—I blame myself, but that’s a good blame not a bad blame—but because of the country’s success and you need workers here,” Trump continued. “You do need workers. You have homes in Houston, and they can’t get people to build the homes—and lots of other places. But because of what’s happened, and because of the people coming up, they want them to come in and they don’t care how they come in.”
Trump noted that there was a big difference between immigrants coming in to contribute and work for their paycheck and immigrants who had no intention of doing anything other than leeching off the system.
“I don’t want people that need welfare,” Trump said. “I don’t like the idea of people coming in and going on welfare for 50 years, and that’s what they want to be able to do—and it’s no good.”
According to a 2018 survey of Census Bureau data done by the Center for Immigration Studies, 63% of American households with a non-citizen head of household use at least one form of welfare. That compares to just 35% of households where a citizen is in charge of the finances. The study found that non-citizen households also make much higher use of food programs and Medicaid – roughly 50% in both cases compared to roughly 23% among citizens.
The Trump administration has already developed new public charge rules that theoretically prevent green card immigrants of gaining citizenship or visa renewal if they take advantage of welfare programs while in the United States. But until those rules are combined with laws prohibiting chain migration, a decisive end to nonsense like the visa lottery, and sharp changes in the way we dole out welfare to non-citizens, the difference may be negligible. And that’s not even getting into refugees and illegal immigration, which is a whole ‘nother kettle of fish entirely.