Talk radio host Larry Elder said on Tuesday that immigrants coming into the U.S. should benefit Americans, defending the Trump administration's new rule that strengthens federal officials' ability to deny green cards to immigrants after determining their likelihood of getting government aid.
“I kind of thought that people coming to this country are supposed to benefit us and not benefit them. Our welfare state is bigger than ever and it is incompatible to have porous borders and a welfare state,” Elder told “Fox & Friends.”
Elder went on to say, “I think it’s just common sense to say if you come here, you ought not to be a charge on taxpayers. Why is that so controversial?”
Officials described the so-called "public charge" rule as a way to ensure those granted permanent residency are self-sufficient -- and protect taxpayers in the process.
The updated rule will better define, and expand, the factors that can be considered to deny an applicant on these grounds.
While the “public charge” inadmissibility standard has long been part of U.S. immigration law, the term has not been formally defined in statute. The new rule, which will go into effect on October 15, will define “public charge” as an immigrant who receives one or more designated public benefits for more than 12 months within a 36-month period.
Elder addressed concerns about the Trump administration measure being “anti-immigrant.”
“Democrats used to say the same kinds of things that Trump is saying right now, but now that Trump is saying them, he’s harsh, he’s unfair, he’s xenophobic, if not racist," he argued.
The “public charge” inadmissibility standard was part of U.S. immigration law before Trump was in office. The new rule goes into effect on October 15.
“Donald Trump ran to do something about immigration, about illegal immigration. He ran on that platform. We take in about a million people legally every year and several hundred thousands of people who are here illegally,” Elder said.
“We have no idea how many people who are here illegally,” he added.
“There was a study recently done by some Yale professors who estimate the number at 20 million. This is costing us a great deal of money. Especially, the unskilled,” Elder said.
Fox News' Adam Shaw contributed to this report.