Proposed change to green card laws could affect thousands

A new proposal by the Trump administration could affect thousands from getting their green card.

A new proposal by the Trump administration could affect thousands from getting their green card.

The new regulation is another way the administration is trying to crack down on illegal and legal immigration.

This new proposal could force millions of poor immigrants who rely on legal public assistance to make the hard choice between getting help and seeking residency.

“I had a medical emergency and they gave me the option to use Medicaid and now I’m scared to take it, I haven’t signed anything yet,” said one Valley resident, who didn’t want to be identified because she is the process of getting her residency.

The Trump administration announced immigrants who benefit from public assistance, like food stamps or Section 8 housing, could be denied green cards.

A worry on this Valley residents mind, "You're living in fear, because you do everything you can to get your residency legally and then to hear this type of news, it’s scary.”

She tells CBS 4 News she was a single mother raising two boys and used some government assistance.

“The money I would get would go straight to rent, water, electricity and a small car for us to move around,” she said.

Both her sons are U.S. citizens, and one about to join the armed forces.

"If you are a parent of a U.S. citizen and you don’t have the economic means, it’s your responsibility as a parent to request these grants by the government," said Alejandro San Miguel, an immigration attorney for Valdez & Monarrez Law Firm.

San Miguel says this new proposal is aimed for people who are trying to get their residency for the first time, but it’s still instilling fear into people who have had their residency for a while.

"None the less, people who already have them they call you concerned —people who are in the process of naturalizing to U.S. citizens, they call you concerned, 'Should I cut my benefits?" said San Miguel.

While the new proposal has not gone into effect yet, San Miguel says its already left a chilling affect with many.

The administration says the new proposal could affect up to 382,000 people from getting their green card.

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