Last Tuesday (09), the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services stopped applying the restrictions that were related to the Public Charge that had been in force since October 2019.
Starting now, USCIS will apply the public charge inadmissibility statute consistent with the 1999 Interim Field Guidance, which was in effect prior to the implementation of the Public Charge Final Rule. This means that USCIS is no longer considering receiving Medicaid (except for long-term institutionalization at government expense), public housing, or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits as part of the public charge inadmissibility determination.
Signed by former President Donald Trump, the 2019 rule stated that requests for permanent residence or status changes made by citizens likely to become “public burdens” would be looked at negatively. That is, it made it more difficult for immigrants to obtain permanent residence status if they had used certain public benefits. Until March 9th of this year, some health, food, and housing programs were included as public benefits that permanent resident candidates could not use.
On March 10th, USCIS removed Form I-944 (Declaration of Self-Reliance) from its website and reported that it will no longer apply the Final Public Charge Rule. “Applicants and petitioners should not provide information or evidence related solely to the Public Charge Final Rule. That means that applicants for adjustment of status should not submit Form I-944, Declaration of Self Sufficiency, or any evidence or documentation required by Form I-944 when they file their Form I-485 (Application for permanent residence or adjustment of status)”, declared the USCIS in an official note.
Louanni Cesário, an immigration lawyer at Drummond Advisors, commented on the new definition and its impacts: “The end of the new Public Charge policy is cause for celebration as it means the end of invasive and discriminatory requirements. We are back to a fairer and more coherent process, with opportunities for everyone. We continue with optimism and believing in better days ”.
THE IMPACT IN NUMBERS
Data from the December 2020 Urban Institute Welfare and Basic Needs Survey (WBNS) show that immigrant families avoided the use of public non-monetary and support programs in 2020 due to concerns about immigration status.
In 2020, almost one in seven adults in immigrant families (13.6%) reported that they or a family member had avoided using non-monetary government benefit programs, such as Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program, Assistance Program Supplemental Nutritional, or housing assistance, due to concerns about the future of their green card form.
In addition, more than one in six adults in immigrant families (17.8%) reported avoiding a non-monetary government benefits program or other assistance for basic needs because of concerns about the green card or other concerns about their status. immigration or enforcement.
If you have any questions or are interested in obtaining a green card, get in touch with the immigration lawyers at Drummond Advisors.