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August 14, 2018


The Trump administration is proposing a new rule that will limit the number of legal immigrants eligible to become permanent residents of the United States. The initiative has been under review and process for more than a year. The new rule would penalize eligible immigrants if their family members receive public assistance even if those family members are U.S. citizens. The new rule is said to be an attempt to reduce family immigration system without going through the lengthy procedure of rule making through congress.


The new rule would make it difficult for legal immigrants to receive either green cards or citizenship if the eligible immigrant or anyone in their family has ever benefited from a long list of safety-net programs. These include the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), food stamps or even health insurance purchased on the Obamacare exchanges.


According to a report, the proposed change to what is known as the “public charge” rule will be published imminently in the federal register, the new rule would then be open to receive public comments before it becomes official rule.


Under the current regulation, Public charge” is applied to determine whether an immigrant is inadmissible or ineligible for permanent status based on use of public cash assistance. However, as per the leaked draft of the change proposed by the Trump administration shows that immigration authorities would extend “public charge” to consider members of an immigrant’s entire household for determining whether that immigrant is eligible to receive permanent residency or citizenship.


The important points to be noted about the new rule:


  • This policy would apply to immigrants who are in the country legally. As such, the proposal fits into President Trump’s agenda to dramatically cut levels of legal immigration, despite his rhetorical focus on the undocumented.

  • This rule is about making sure that the immigrants are self-sufficient and not a drain on public coffers.

  • Last and the most important, is that under the proposal, it’s not only immigrants who must forgo safety-net benefits if they don’t wish to be penalized by the immigration system. It is everyone in a given immigrant’s household. That includes an immigrant’s own children, even if these children are U.S. citizens who independently qualify for safety-net benefits.

More details about the proposed rule would be available once the rule is published in the Federal Register. For latest news and updates on immigration, please visit www.emandilaw.com.


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