Under the public charge rule, immigrants unable to care for themselves without government assistance become ineligible. The Trump administration wished to enhance the public charge rule by creating a policy with a wealth test that would disqualify immigrants for green cards if they were deemed likely to use public benefits. Our Miami immigration attorneys explain updates regarding the modified public charge rule.
Public Charge Rule Updates
On November 2nd of this year, a federal judge ordered the Trump administration to vacate a policy that allowed officials to deny green cards to immigrants who might need public assistance, such as food stamps and housing vouchers.
The federal judge claimed that the new policy exceeded the authority of the executive branch. Judge Gary Feinerman of the U.S. District Court of the North District of Illinois stated that there were “numerous unexplained flaws” in the rule, including the interpretation of “self-sufficient.”
However, the Trump administration is expected to appeal the decision--there is a likelihood that the administration could end up before the Supreme Court. While the new ruling decisions are still being made, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) can’t apply the new standard when reviewing green card applications.
Consequences of the Public Charge Rule Passing
If this ruling were to pass before the Supreme Court, tens of thousands of immigrants would be affected--especially since many people have lost their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic. The new rule stated that any applicant likely to use housing vouchers, food stamps, and nonemergency Medicaid, among other public benefits, could be denied a green card. The fear of this policy passing has also created a decreased participation in public programs.