The proposal would affect more than 382,000 people per year who obtain permanent residence while already in the United States, DHS said.
In addition, hundreds of thousands of people living abroad obtain US permanent residence each year through the State Department, which would likely change its own regulations to match those of DHS when the proposal becomes final.
Immigrant advocates have criticised the administration’s plan, which was first reported by Reuters in February when it was in an early draft form, saying that it is an effort to cut legal immigration without going through Congress to change US law.
They also believe the rule could negatively affect public health by dissuading immigrants from using health or food aid to which they or their children are entitled.
Even the proposal published on Saturday anticipates some of those impacts. If immigrants forego enrolling in public benefits because of the new regulation, it could lead to “increased rates of poverty and housing instability” and “worse health outcomes,” the proposal states.