New Trump Administration Rules About Legal Immigration Could Hurt Older Immigrants

By Kathy Ritchie
Published: Friday, August 16, 2019 - 10:44am

On Monday, the Trump administration announced that it would look at whether people who entered the U.S. legally and are seeking permanent status received public assistance when deciding whether to grant legal status. The new rules could hurt older immigrants and those who care for Arizona’s aging population.

The National Council on Aging issued a statement in response to the new rules which are scheduled to go into effect in mid-October.

"And so the allegation that people are overusing the system is actually not true. In this particular instance, we’re finding that seniors don’t even know they’re eligible for these programs and much less likely to apply because if they have a language barrier its tougher for them to do that," said Anna Maria Chavez with NCOA.

The organization said that immigrant seniors who have played by the rules will have to make an impossible choice between going hungry and avoiding needed long-term care support or losing their immigration status.

Chavez said it’s not just older immigrants who might be affected.

"I found in Arizona, almost all the workers providing care to seniors is a legal immigrant and, many times because of the low pay, they have to access some type of benefit," she said.

Chavez and NCOA argue the new rules could decimate the support needed to age in place. 

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