AP FACT CHECK: No Trump order to deport welfare immigrants

By ALICIA A. CALDWELL | February 15, 2017 | 4:34 AM EST

Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Mich., left, and Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Wis., right, watch as House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis. pats President Donald Trump on the back after the president signed the House Joint Resolution 41, Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON (AP) — A widely circulated report that President Donald Trump has signed an executive order calling for the deportation of immigrants who accept government welfare is false.

Trump has signed executive orders focusing on immigration, including a travel-and-immigration ban that has been put on hold by a federal court in Washington state, but none focused on deporting immigrants who receive welfare.

In recent weeks, drafts of possible executive orders have been leaked and one such draft did address immigrants who become a so-called "public charge" by accepting certain government benefits. The draft order was obtained by The Associated Press.

The draft order did call for such immigrants to face deportation, but it hasn't been signed by the president. And even if it were to be signed, it wouldn't change much. There's already a law that says immigrants who become dependent on certain government benefits can be kicked out of the country, though it's rarely, if ever, enforced. Immigrants in the United States illegally are also barred from receiving welfare and other public benefits.

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This story is part of an ongoing Associated Press effort to fact-check claims in suspected false news stories. Find all AP Fact Checks here: http://apne.ws/2kbx8bd