Trump´s government denies visas to more than 5,000 Mexicans

Other countries that have been severely affected are India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and the Dominican Republic.

MEXICO CITY (Agencias) – According to data from the Department of State, published by POLITICO website, between October 1, 2018 and July 29 of this year, 5,343 travel visa applications have been rejected on the grounds that the applicants were “poor” or “too ill” so that they may pose the risk of becoming a “public burden.

According to the news portal, it contrasts with just seven applications rejected under the same argument in 2016, the last fiscal year of Barack Obama’s administration. The immigrant visa allows a foreigner to travel to the United States and begin the process of legal permanent resident.

The rise in rejection, however, was not exclusive to Mexican migrants. The data obtained by POLITICO indicate that between October 1, 2018 and July 29 of this year, a total of 12,179 visa applications were denied for fear that the applicants would become a “public burden. In fiscal year 2016, meanwhile, the State Department disqualified only 1,033 applicants.

Other countries that have been severely affected are India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and the Dominican Republic.

According to the portal, this rejection would be replicated in applications for visa renewal or for residence permits known as “green cards”.

The regulation reflects Trump’s efforts to advance legislation that would reduce legal migration and favor skilled workers over migrants with family connections.

In January 2018, the State Department updated its Foreign Affairs Handbook to tighten the guidelines that determine what falls under the “public charge” category. In that fiscal year, 12,973 visas were rejected under that argument, compared to 3,209 in the previous year and 1,033 two years earlier.

This new provision –POLITICO points out- urges consular officials to review all of the applicant’s circumstances to determine their ability to be self-sufficient in the United States.

The number of Mexicans denied immigrant visas because of their economic status increased.

  • 7 applications were rejected in 2015-2016
  • 5,343 applications have been denied in 2018-2019

Consular officers approved roughly 534,000 immigrant visas in fiscal year 2018, down from 618,000 two years earlier.

Refused visa applicants are permitted to submit additional evidence to prove their economic self-sufficiency, but the statistics show that only 1,330 Mexican immigrants who applied in previous years reversed a public charge ruling during that period.

The State Department data suggests that Mexican immigrants could be one of the groups most affected by the public charge regulation. Trump has faced Democratic criticism in recent days over his anti-immigrant and anti-Mexican rhetoric following a mass shooting in El Paso that killed 22 people, including eight Mexican citizens. Authorities have investigated whether the suspect posted a racist manifesto online that warned of a “Hispanic invasion of Texas.” The language echoed Trump’s own repeated comments about an immigrant “invasion” at the southwest border.

State Department visa denials were based on statutory language dating to the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act (later reaffirmed in 1952 in the Red Scare-inspired McCarren-Walter Act) that says immigrants and visitors to the United States can be turned away if they’re likely to become a public charge after admission. The phrase “public charge” isn’t defined in the relevant statutes, but guidance issued in 1999 said it applied to people who were primarily dependent — or likely to become primarily dependent — on cash assistance or long-term, institutionalized care.

 

The Yucatan Times
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