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Crackdown on immigrants who use public benefits takes effect

In this Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019, photo, Dr. Jasmine Saavedra, a pediatrician at Esperanza Health Centers whose parents emigrated from Mexico in the 1980s, examines Alondra Marquez, a newborn baby in her clinic in Chicago. Doctors and public health experts warn of poor health outcomes and rising costs they say will come from sweeping changes that would deny green cards to many immigrants who use Medicaid, as well as food stamps and other forms of public assistance. Saavedra is convinced that if new Trump administration criteria were in effect for her parents three decades ago, she wouldn’t have become a pediatrician. (AP Photo/Amr Alfiky)

PHOENIX (AP) – Advocates say new guidelines that disqualify more people from green cards if they use government benefits is prompting droves of immigrants to drop government social services.

That even includes citizens and legal residents who may be entitled to the benefits but fear they will be kicked out of the U.S. Advocates are scrambling to find other options to fill the needs of a traditionally low-income population.

They predict that the Trump administration guidelines taking effect Monday will result in extreme hardship for many.

The government says the rule will help make immigrants more self-sufficient and protect American taxpayers.


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