Trump immigration proposal to delay welfare benefits.
Wants to prohibit newcomers from welfare for 5 years
At a raucous campaign rally Wednesday night in Iowa, President Trump proposed new immigration rules that would bar newcomers to the U.S. from receiving welfare benefits for five years.
At an event in Cedar Rapids that was partly a victory celebration of Republican wins in several special House elections, Mr. Trump got the crowd on its feet with tough talk on immigration, saying other countries don’t treat the U.S. fairly on cross-border issues.
“I believe the time has come for new immigration rules which say that 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,” Mr. Trump said to cheers and applause.
“We’ll be putting in legislation to that effect very shortly,” he said.
Both of those plans Mr. Trump talked about are already enshrined to some extent in current law.
The 1996 welfare reform law approved by a Republican Congress and signed into law by President Clinton included a five-year bar on immigrants accessing most welfare programs. And a prohibition on immigrants becoming public charges has been law for more than a century.
But experts say enforcement of both provisions — and particularly the public charge requirement — has been lacking.
Mr. Trump also vowed that he will still build a wall along the Mexican border, saying he’s even thinking of making it a solar wall “so it creates energy and pays for itself.”
“My idea,” he said.
The president also reveled in Republicans’ clean sweep in four special House races this year, saying they showed that Democrats are failing in their plan to obstruct his presidency.
“Their plan isn’t working,” Mr. Trump told supporters. “They [Democrats] thought they were going to win at least three. The truth is people love us, all of us.”
The president called attention to the victories Tuesday night by Republicans Karen Handel in Georgia and Ralph Norman in South Carolina. He especially savored Mrs. Handel’s win over Democrat Jon Ossoff, who raised more than $22 million in his losing effort.
“They spent close to $30 million on this kid who forgot to live in the community that he was in,” Mr. Trump said of the Democrats. “They raised a fortune for him, they fought like hell.”
But the president said his Republican supporters came “out of the hills” to defeat the Democrats.
“We have the hardest-working, the smartest people, the toughest people,” Mr. Trump said to cheers. “They’re very lucky that our people don’t protest, believe me.”
Reminding the audience of one of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s biggest mistakes during the campaign, Mr. Trump said, “Hillary said ‘The deplorables.’ These [supporters] are just the opposite, believe me.”
It was Mr. Trump’s first visit to Iowa since his inauguration, and his speech was heavy on promises of high interest in farming communities, such as renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement, rolling back the federal “land grab” of the Obama administration, and working to end the so-called death tax.
“I don’t know if we’re going to pull that one off, but we’re working very hard on it,” the president said of the death-tax repeal. “You should have a right to pass your farm on to your children and your grandchildren.”
The president discussed “the next steps in our incredible movement” to “make America great again,” saying he is hopeful that Congress will approve a health care bill in the Senate soon and then turn to a massive tax cut plan.
“We’re working really hard on massive tax cuts,” Mr. Trump said. “I think it’s going to happen, and I think health care is going to happen … Let’s see what happens.”
In his hour-plus-long speech, the president also talked about economic progress and defended his choice of wealthy Cabinet secretaries and advisers to oversee the economy.
“I love all people,” Mr. Trump said. “In those particular positions I don’t want a poor person. Does that make sense?”
Mr. Trump also relished taking aim at the media again, ridiculing TV networks for setting up temporary studios in Georgia in anticipation that a loss by Mrs. Handel in the special House race would repudiate Mr. Trump’s presidency.
“If Karen Handel had lost, they would have been there for weeks talking about it,” Mr. Trump said. “When she won … they couldn’t get out of there fast enough.”
It was also an opportunity for Mr. Trump and Iowans to give a send-off to former Gov. Terry Branstad, who is soon taking over his duties as U.S. ambassador to China.
Traveling with the president was Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, as they highlighted technological advances in farming to increase productivity and reduce the agriculture sector’s carbon footprint.
They visited Kirkwood Community College, whose agriculture science program is recognized as a national leader and as a center for innovation.
During a speech at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Wednesday, President Trump proposed new immigration rules. He also commented on Karen Handel’s victory in Georgia, the proposed border wall with Mexico and tax cuts.