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How the New Public Charge Rule Affects Immigrants

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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a new rule on August 14th that will further restrict legal immigration. Under the new public charge rule, the government will be able to deny green cards and visas for immigrants who will likely need public assistance like food stamps, housing assistance, and Medicaid. Although the new rule won’t take effect until October 15th, both legal and undocumented immigrants are worried about how it will impact their status:

The following are important things you need to know about the new public charge rule:

  • According to a broad interpretation of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), a person is deemed inadmissible if they are likely to become a public charge.
  • The new rule doesn’t apply to all immigrants, it only applies to immigrants petitioning for U.S. citizenship or adjustment of status.
  • The rule does not apply to lawful permanent residents who are applying to become U.S. citizens through the naturalization process.
  • The new rule changes the definition of a public charge and now defines it as a person who receives public benefits for more than 12 months over any 36-month period of time.
  • The new rule adds Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Section 8 housing assistance, and federally subsidized housing to the list of publicly-funded programs that can be considered a public charge.
  • State or local cash assistance programs can render an applicant inadmissible under the new rule.
  • Applicants receiving Medicaid who are under the age of 21 or pregnant will not be considered a public charge.
  • Immigrants will now have to file a Declaration of Self-Sufficiency when applying for a green card.

Are you worried that the new public charge rule will make you ineligible for a green card or visa? Call our lawyers at The Sekou Clarke Law Group to schedule your consultation with our seasoned immigration lawyers in Florida & New York.

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