Some immigrants who are living in Tennessee may be reluctant to seek out government programs they are entitled to in the wake of a Trump administration announcement that green cards will be limited based on what benefits immigrants received. Attorneys report that they are counseling worried immigrants who are considering not applying for or pulling out of programs they are entitled to, and in some cases, those actions put the health and well-being of them and their families at risk.

The policy will not go into effect for months, increasing the sense of uncertainty around what benefits may or may not be acceptable. Furthermore, it is written in a broad enough manner that even programs that are not specifically listed could disqualify a person from green card eligibility. The proposal itself says that in part, discouraging immigrants from participating in these programs is precisely one of the things it is designed to do.

Immigrants will need to be more vigilant about any programs social workers may sign them up to in an attempt to help them access as many resources as possible as well as the preparation of tax returns. They may need to make sure they are not taking tax credits that could hurt their chances for a green card.

People who have questions about green card eligibility or other elements of immigration may want to consult an attorney. While immigration laws and procedures have always been complex, they are also changing rapidly under the Trump administration, and an attorney may be able to keep people informed of the latest changes and how to handle them. Attorneys may also be able to help with other aspects of immigration such as naturalization and getting student or work visas.