A more precise way to think about the problem is to consider why we have public assistance in the first place. We believe, or we used to believe, that providing for the basic needs of all members of society benefits all of us. It is better to live in a land where no one is destitute, homeless, or deprived of basic medical care. This idea seems to have been long forgotten: the sentiment that immigrants are interlopers who take advantage of America’s welfare state is at least as old as Clintonian welfare reform. It was in the nineteen-nineties that restrictions on the use of public benefits by immigrants began, based on the pernicious idea of a clear divide between the deserving locals and the freeloading newcomers.
.. The United States, however, does not recognize any political rights of non-citizens, meaning that they are governed but have no say in government.
.. The new naturalization rules provide perhaps the clearest example yet that Trump’s war on immigrants is a war on democracy.