Rep. Flores: Immigrants can come legally, but 'not on the backs of everyone else'

BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) - Rep. Bill Flores, the Republican representing District 17, says he “supports the president’s rule” on legal immigration, and he thinks “everyone else should as well.”

This week, the Trump Administration announced an expansion of the public charge rule. Beginning Oct. 1, many green card and visa applicants could be denied if they have low incomes or little education and/or have used social welfare benefits like Medicaid, food stamps, and housing vouchers.

“This has been the law for many, many years, actually for decades, but it hasn't been updated to include all of the ways that [a person] can become part of the public charge,” said Rep. Flores on First News at Four. “So, the president has modernized the rules.”

Kirby Goidel, director of the Texas A&M Public Policy Research Institute, says that most of what the Trump Administration has done regarding immigration has targeted illegal immigration—until now.

“We’ve always heard people say, ‘I’m not against immigration: I’m against illegal immigration,’” said Goidel. “This is going to make it harder for people to legally immigrate to the United States, especially for people from poor countries or people who are already poor.”

Congressman Flores has a different perspective.

“We are a nation of immigrants; we believe that people should come here legally,” said Rep. Flores. “But not come here legally to live on the backs of everybody else, but to come here legally and become a productive member of society.”

Flores says this doesn’t mean “we can’t have people coming here for asylum or refugee purposes,” but for everyone else—

“The expectation of all of us as taxpayers in this country is to do the same thing we did. which is come here, find a job, go to work, become a productive member of society,” said Rep. Flores, “and not live off the backs of all the other hardworking taxpayers.”