(CNSNews.com) – President Donald Trump said Friday that his administration’s decision to define public charge as it applies to immigrants seeking a green card is “long overdue.”

Speaking to reporters in Morristown, N.J., the president said it’s only fair that American taxpayers aren’t forced to pay for people to come into the U.S.


A reporter asked Trump about comments that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Acting Director Ken Cuccinelli made Tuesday on National Public Radio.

“On another issue: Ken Cuccinelli today said, on NPR, that maybe there ought to be a different poem on the Statue of Liberty that says immigrants who come can stand up for themselves and take care of themselves. Do you think that should be changed?” the reporter asked.

“Well, I don’t think it’s fair to have the American taxpayer — you know, it’s about ‘America First.’ I don’t think it’s fair to have the American taxpayer paying for people to come into the United States,” the president said.

“So what we’ve done is institute what took place many, many years ago — at our founding, virtually, but we are just reinstituting it, and I think it’s long overdue,” he said.

“I am tired of seeing our taxpayer paying for people to come into the country and immediately go onto welfare and various other things, so I think we’re doing it right,” Trump said.

As CNSNews.com previously reported, the administration’s new rule defines the term public charge as “an individual who receives one or more public benefits for more than 12 months in the aggregate within any 36-month period.”

Immigration officials will look at whether an immigrant “is likely at any point in the future to become a public charge as we define it in the regulation,” Cuccinelli told reporters at the White House on Monday.