President Donald Trump in a rally on Wednesday night proposed reforming the welfare system by making immigrants who enter the United States ineligible to receive welfare benefits for five years, though such a law has already been on the books since 1996.
“I believe the time has come for new immigration rules which say those seeking admission into our country must be able to support themselves financially and should not use welfare for a period of at least five years,” Trump said to the roughly 6,000 supporters who flocked to his Iowa rally.
The president added that his administration would be “putting in legislation to that effect very shortly.”
New immigrants already cannot access welfare programs during their first five years in the US, per a 1996 welfare reform law known as the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 signed by President Bill Clinton.
When pressed repeatedly by CNN, a “senior administration official did not dispute that the proposal is already in effect.”