By Ted Hesson (politico.com)
The number of Mexicans refused immigrant visas to the U.S. because they might become dependent on government benefits skyrocketed under President Donald Trump, according to State Department data obtained by POLITICO.
Between Oct. 1 and July 29, the State Department denied 5,343 immigrant visa applications for Mexican nationals on the grounds that the applicants were so poor or infirm that they risked becoming a “public charge,” according to the statistics. That’s up from just seven denials for Mexican applicants in fiscal year 2016, the last full year under former President Barack Obama.
Public charge denials have increased in recent years as the State Department has issued fewer immigrant visas overall. Immigrant visas are the first step toward permanent residence in the U.S.
Consular officers approved roughly 534,000 immigrant visas in fiscal year 2018, down from 618,000 two years earlier.
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