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 principle driving it is an old American value, and that’s self-sufficiency,” U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Acting Director Ken Cuccinelli told Fox News in an interview. “It’s a core principle — the American Dream itself — and it’s one of the things that distinguishes us, and it’s central to the legal history in the U.S. back into the 1800s.”

“It will also have the long-term benefit of protecting taxpayers by ensuring people who are immigrating to this country don’t become public burdens, that they can stand on their own two feet, as immigrants in years past have done,” he said. “It’s not only a recipe for their success, but for America’s success growing out of our immigration system.”