Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Proposes Full Welfare Benefits for All Immigrants, Regardless of Legal Status, After Trump Visa Ban

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has published a series of economic policies as part of her plans for a "just society," including allowing immigrants living in the U.S. illegally, the same welfare benefits as U.S. citizens.

The New York congresswoman has published a total of six legislation proposals which aim to tackle the "stark inequalities" which exist in the U.S.

The package of ideas includes The Place to Prosper Act, designed to create a stable rental housing market to protect tenants and rein in corporate landlords.

There is also The Recognizing Poverty Act which would ensure the Department of Health and Human Services adjusts the federal poverty line to account for stipulations such as "geographic cost variation, costs related to health insurance, work expenses for the family, child care needs, and new necessities, like internet access."

Ocasio-Cortez, who previously pushed for the Green New Deal, has also announced The Embrace Act, which would allow all immigrants, including those living in the country illegally, to be provided with the same Federal public benefits as U.S. citizens.

"Our nation must recognize that our history—immigrants, enslaved peoples, and refugees built this country. We all do better when we create a just society that embraces our most vulnerable populations and paves a path to prosperity for all," Ocasio-Cortez's manifesto states.

"This bill would ensure that all persons in need are eligible for the largest programs of the social safety net, regardless of their immigration status."

According to the proposal, Federal public benefit includes any retirement, welfare, health, disability, and unemployment benefits, as well as any similar payments or assistance that are provided to an individual, household, or family by an agency of the U.S.

The idea to give all immigrants the same welfare rights as those already legally living in the U.S. as citizens arrived as President Donald Trump announced that visas will be denied for all immigrants who cannot prove they will be able to afford health care within 30 days of entering the country.

Trump said the new rule, which will come into place on November 3, aims to stop immigrants who will "financially burden the United States."

"While our healthcare system grapples with the challenges caused by uncompensated care, the United States Government is making the problem worse by admitting thousands of aliens who have not demonstrated any ability to pay for their healthcare costs," Trump said in a statement.

The White House cited a report from the Kaiser Family Foundation, a health care policy thinktank, which claimed that legal immigrants are three times as likely as U.S. citizens to not have any health insurance.

In a tweet, Ocasio-Cortez condemned the policy as "hypocrisy, xenophobia, and barbarism all in one."

She added: "The United States doesn't even offer guaranteed healthcare for *its own citizens,* yet wants to demand it from people of other national origins."

Speaking after a town hall in her home district in New York, Ocasio-Cortez said she has yet come up with a figure for how much her welfare proposal would cost.

"This is a question that is only asked about the general welfare of the public and it's not a question that we ask about war, it's not a question that we ask about the $2.1 trillion GOP tax cut," Ocasio-Cortez said, reported Reuters.

"For those that may have a price tag attached to them, we're happy to have that conversation."

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) speaks during a town hall meeting at the LeFrak City Queens Library on October 3, 2019 in the Queens borough of New York City. The event focused on her A Just Society legislation, which targets poverty, affordable housing, and access to federal benefits. Drew Angerer/Getty
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Proposes Full Welfare Benefits for All Immigrants, Regardless of Legal Status, After Trump Visa Ban | U.S.
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