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Baltimore Sues Trump Demanding We Admit More Welfare Dependent Immigrants

Baltimore, Maryland, a city that has been the site of several destructive riots, had the worst homicide rate among the nation’s 50 largest cities last year and the second-highest violent crime rate overall, according to new data from the FBI.

According to the Baltimore Sun there were 342 homicides in Baltimore last year, 56 per 100,000 people who live in the city. That’s the highest per capita in the city’s history and, according to the FBI report Monday, the RAISE Acthighest rate of any American city with more than 500,000 people. It’s also significantly higher than the rate in other big cities.

Baltimore has lost about 10,000 residents over the past decade and 21.8 percent of the population are living in poverty.

Now the city of Baltimore has sued the Trump administration demanding… wait for it… that more poor, potentially welfare dependent immigrants be admitted to the United States.

The lawsuit challenges changes the State Department made to the way it weighs the use of government benefits by potential immigrants and their families when deciding to issue visas. (You can read the complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief through this link.)

Sarah Meehan, writing for The Baltimore Sun, reports the State Department changed the rules in January in a way Baltimore officials say deters city residents from claiming benefits they’re entitled to — such as food stamps, housing vouchers and Medicaid — for fear of making it harder for their relatives to get visas to come to the U.S.

At issue, reports Ms. Meehan, is a change to a section of the Foreign Affairs Manual, which American consular officials use when deciding whether to grant someone a visa. The section dealt with determining whether someone is likely to become a “public charge” — that is, to use cash benefits or long-term care from the government.

Under the new rules, reports Meehan, consular officers are allowed to consider the use of noncash benefits — such as free school lunches, job training resources or health clinics — by a visa applicant’s relatives already in the U.S.

It was unclear how many current and potential Baltimore residents the change affects reported Ms. Meehan. The policy applies to people seeking immigration visas for themselves, as well as those sponsoring potential immigrants.

The lawsuit does not point to specific examples of immigrants’ being denied visas because of the use of such benefits. But supporters of the lawsuit claim anecdotal evidence from consulates in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, and elsewhere suggests immigration officials are applying the rule to deny more visas Ms. Meehan reported.

The Trump administration has proposed a similar change to guidelines for officials at the Department of Homeland Security, which handles immigration issues for people within the United States.

In making that proposal, Meehan reports the agency said that “since the 1800s, Congress has put into statute that individuals are inadmissible to the U.S. if they are unable to care for themselves without becoming a public charge and federal laws have stated that foreign nationals generally must be self-sufficient. Despite this history, public charge has not been defined in statute or regulations, and there has been insufficient guidance on how to determine if an alien who is applying for a visa, admission, or adjustment of status is likely at any time to become a public charge.”

In a definitive 2015 study of welfare use by immigrants, both legal and illegal, Steven A. Camarota of the Center for Immigration Studies found that 51 percent of households headed by an immigrant (legal or illegal) reported that they used at least one welfare program during the year, compared to 30 percent of native households. Welfare in this study includes Medicaid and cash, food, and housing programs.

Camarota also found welfare use is high for both new arrivals and well-established immigrants. Of households headed by immigrants who have been in the country for more than two decades, 48 percent access welfare. He also found immigrant households have much higher use of food programs (40 percent vs. 22 percent for natives) and Medicaid (42 percent vs. 23 percent).

(You can access the entire study through this link and it is well worth bookmarking for future reference.)

Baltimore ranks 14 on the list of ‘Worst American Cities To Live In’ compiled by 24/7 Wall St. and can’t afford to properly heat and repair its dilapidated schools, so where does a city that cannot properly heat its school classrooms get the money to sue the Trump administration to admit more public charge immigrants?

And why would a poor, already welfare-dependent city want to import more poor, welfare-dependent immigrants from foreign countries?

It will come as no surprise that joining the City of Baltimore in the suit against the Trump administration is Democracy Forward.

The Democracy Forward Foundation is a Soros-aligned 501(c)3 non-profit legal foundation that has made it its mission to sue the Trump administration over everything from security arrangements during the President’s golf outings to the legality of his appointment of an Acting Secretary of the Veterans Administration.

Democracy Forward’s Executive Director Anne Harkavy said in a statement release when the lawsuit was filed, “The State Department’s unlawful public charge policy is yet another example of the Trump Administration’s disturbing hostility toward people born in other countries and their families, especially immigrants from places President Trump has derided.”

The reality is that it is not President Trump’s views of the countries, but the likelihood that immigrants from them will become public charges that drives the new policy. Welfare use varies widely among immigrant groups. Households headed by immigrants from Central America and Mexico (73 percent), the Caribbean (51 percent), and Africa (48 percent) have the highest overall welfare use. Those from East Asia (32 percent), Europe (26 percent), and South Asia (17 percent) have the lowest.

Rather than suing to add more poor, unskilled immigrants to its already welfare dependent citizenry Baltimore should join Republican Senators Tom Cotton and David Perdue in supporting the RAISE Act to create a merit based, skills-based immigration system that would bring high contributors to Baltimore’s economy.

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Soros

Why in the world has Soros not been handed over to Russia or Israel? Russia has an active warrant for his arrest and Israel SHOULD HAVE ONE for what he did to Jews with the Nazi's.