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Immigrants’ sponsors to be on hook for ‘every dollar’ if new arrivals end up on dole, new Trump appointee warns

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Immigrants’ sponsors to be on hook for ‘every dollar’ if new arrivals end up on dole, new Trump appointee warns

Sponsors of legal immigrants to the United States received word Friday that they’ll be on the hook “for every dollar” if those immigrants end up receiving welfare funds or other public support instead of earning a living and paying taxes.

The message came Ken Cuccinelli, a former Virginia state attorney general who last week became acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) following his appointment by President Trump.

“If the sponsored immigrant receives any federal means-tested public benefits, the sponsor will be expected to reimburse the benefits-granting agency for every dollar of benefits received by the immigrant,” Cuccinelli wrote in a USCIS memo.

“If the sponsored immigrant receives any federal means-tested public benefits, the sponsor will be expected to reimburse the benefits-granting agency for every dollar of benefits received by the immigrant.”

— Ken Cuccinelli, acting director, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

‘Enforceable contract’

In addition, the same message instructed agents who work for USCIS to remind applicants and sponsors that “the Affidavit of Support is a legal and enforceable contract between the sponsor and the federal government.”

TRUMP NAMES IMMIGRATION HARDLINER CUCCINELLI AS ACTING HEAD OF USCIS

Ken Cuccinelli, a former Virginia state attorney general, is now acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. (Associated Press)

Ken Cuccinelli, a former Virginia state attorney general, is now acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. (Associated Press)

According to Cuccinelli, all federal agencies dealing with immigration issues will be working to update or initiate procedures and regulations to make sure that immigrants who are ineligible for public benefits do not receive them, in accordance with a May 23 directive from the president.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: ‘I DON’T WANT IMMIGRANTS THAT WILL BE DEPENDENT ON WELFARE’

“The President has made it a priority to ensure that every individual who seeks to come to the United States is self-sufficient, temporarily or permanently,” Cuccinelli wrote. “The principle of self-sufficiency has been enshrined in our immigration laws since the 1800s, and we as an agency must ensure that immigrants who become part of this great country abide by this principle.”

“The President has made it a priority to ensure that every individual who seeks to come to the United States is self-sufficient, temporarily or permanently.”

— Ken Cuccinelli, acting director, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Cuccinelli took over at USCIS last Monday, coming to the job with a reputation as a hardliner on immigration issues. For example, he has been an advocate for denying citizenship to American-born children of parents living in the U.S. illegally and for limiting in-state tuition at public universities to citizens or legal residents.

He replaced Lee Francis Cissna, who reportedly had lost President Trump’s confidence.

Critical of McConnell, others in GOP

But Trump likely named Cuccinelli an acting director because his chances of winning Senate confirmation were said to be slim, Roll Call reported.

The outspoken Cuccinelli, as president of the Senate Conservatives Fund, a political action committee that has opposed many incumbent Republicans, has been critical of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and others in the GOP.

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“Mitch McConnell has filled the Senate with people like Lisa Murkowski, John McCain, Shelley Moore Capito, Lamar Alexander and Dean Heller who all promised the voters they would repeal Obamacare, but when the time came to do it they refused,” Cuccinelli wrote in an August 2017 fundraising memo, according to Roll Call. “Instead of admitting his mistake, McConnell is blaming the President for having ‘excessive expectations’ even though he was the one who set those expectations with years of empty promises!”

Trump’s appointment of Cuccinelli came as the president is dealing with a growing crisis as tens of thousands of Central American migrants cross the U.S.-Mexico border each month, overwhelming the system, and he has struggled to deliver on his signature issue of reduced immigration and tighter border security.

Fox News’ Andrew O’Reilly and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Bipartisan House group introduces bill to help those with crippling student debt

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Bipartisan group in House introduces bill to help those with crippling student debt

A bipartisan group on Monday introduced a bill in the House of Representatives to help those with crippling student loan debt avoid default.

Sponsored by Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, D-Ore., the representatives say their legislation will help people avoid such consequences as wage garnishments and a loss of Social Security benefits.

Bonamici and the legislation’s co-sponsors — Reps. Paul Mitchell, R-Mich., Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., and Seth Moulton, D-Mass. — aim to help people who can’t afford full loan payments, have defaulted before, are in danger of default or have disabilities.

“Student loan defaults have damaging consequences for borrowers that can last a significant period of time,” Fitzpatrick said. “An investment in one’s education should not lead to long-term financial distress, and borrowers deserve more efficient access to the tools already at their disposal under the law.”

SCHOOL DISTRICT WARNS: PAY LUNCH BILL OR KIDS MAY GO INTO FOSTER CARE

Automating the process borrowers use to access benefits is the key to preventing defaults, the representatives say, because so many are unaware of the options available to them or fail to register for programs.

The Streamlining Income-driven, Manageable Payments on Loans for Education Act — or The SIMPLE Act — would require the Department of Education to use income and other information from the Treasury Department to verify individuals’ eligibility for these programs so they don’t have to do the paperwork themselves.

As an example, the summary of the bill points out “permanently and totally disabled” borrowers can be released from their student loan payments, but they have to submit paperwork over a three-year period to certify their disability. Otherwise, their loans are reinstated.

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Ninety-eight percent of the 61,000 disabled borrowers who had their loans reinstated in 2015 did so because they didn’t submit the paperwork, the representatives say.

The bill would also automatically register those who have defaulted before or are on their way toward default in income-driven payment plans that allow people to pay back their loans based on their financial ability to do so.

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The lawmakers say those who are in income-driven payment plans are five times less likely to default on their loans than those who aren’t.

Bonamici and Moulton introduced a version of the SIMPLE Act in 2017 with two different sponsors but the bill never made it out of committee.

Fox News’ Tyler Olson contributed to this report. 

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Justice Department tells Mueller his House testimony ‘must remain within the boundaries’ of public report

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Rep. Ilhan Omar fires back at VP Pence for saying she ‘doesn’t know what she’s talking about’ amid Venezuela remarks

A Justice Department official told former Special Counsel Robert Mueller that his upcoming testimony to House lawmakers “must remain within the boundaries” of the public, redacted version of his report, in a letter obtained by Fox News on Monday evening.

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Read the letter: Department of Justice instructs Mueller to keep testimony to information from his report

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Read the letter: Department of Justice instructs Mueller to keep testimony to information from his report

A Justice Department official told former Special Counsel Robert Mueller that his upcoming testimony to House lawmakers “must remain within the boundaries” of the public, redacted version of his report, in a letter obtained by Fox News on Monday evening.

Read the full letter below.

MOBILE USERS, CLICK HERE TO READ THE LETTER

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