New US citizens in SLC say process is tough enough without new Trump rule

SALT LAKE CITY — 152 new citizens swore their allegiance to the United States in a ceremony at the Federal Courthouse in downtown Salt Lake City Wednesday, just two days after the Trump administration announced a new policy to make citizenship impossible for people without financial means.

Changes to the so-called “public charge” rule make immigrants inadmissible for work permits and citizenship if they take public assistance such as Medicaid, rent assistance, or food stamps. Prior to the rule change, the rule was interpreted to deny status to immigrants who rely on government cash for more than half of their income, or who are institutionalized.

Among the new citizens in Salt Lake City, those who spoke with FOX 13 came from more affluent backgrounds with American spouses or family support – but they all said the new rule seemed too harsh.

“In my opinion, there are already a satisfactory amount of restrictions to citizenship,” said Martin Ji, one of the new citizens in Salt Lake City, originally from South Korea.

“I don't think that's right,” said Elena Lunt, a new citizen from Russia.

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