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Will undocumented immigrants be eligible for federal public benefits?
No. Temporary status immigrants will be barred from receiving federal benefits, and this legislation extends that prohibition to include ObamaCare. Once they are eligible to apply for permanent residence, this bill strengthens current law that stipulates no immigrant can obtain a green card if they can’t prove they can support themselves. Current law, which we do not change, also bars permanent residents from receiving federal benefits for the first five years of that status. This legislation strengthens public charge requirements that prevent immigrants likely to access welfare programs in the future from being eligible for permanent residency. Right now, we basically take people’s word that they won’t be public charges, and we only do so before granting green cards. This legislation requires them to provide tax returns before legalization so we can verify they are earning at least 25 percent above the poverty level and are gainfully employed. And they will have to do it more than once, at different parts of the process. Bottom line: their status can be revoked for failure to comply with the employment requirement, the public charge requirement (which goes hand in hand with the employment requirement), their tax obligations and their physical presence obligations.