The Trump administration has enacted new rules that will change the green card criteria and further scrutinize the financial resources of immigrants. Under the new rule, immigration officials will be allowed to deny green cards to immigrants who rely on public assistance, such as Medicaid, food stamps, and housing vouchers. The rule will make it even more difficult for some immigrants petitioning for citizenship.
When an immigrant applies for a green card, they already have to prove that they aren’t “public charge.” This means they have to show they aren’t a burden to the state. However, the new rules cover a broader range of programs that will disqualify green card applicants. When USCIS reviews petitions, they will now consider if the applicant receives public assistance, as well as other factors like education, household income, and overall health to determine eligibility for legal status.
The new rules define a public charge as a person who is “more likely than not” to receive public benefits for more than 12 months within a 36-month period. The new definition also includes Medicaid, housing assistance, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
The new rule will officially go into effect on October 15th, and it will also impact low-income immigrants already living in the country because many will forgo the public assistance they desperately need for fear it will adversely impact their status.
Although the Statue of Liberty still has the slogan “give me your tired, your poor,” the new policy from the Trump administration eliminates this core principle and instead punishes the most vulnerable of those pursuing the American Dream. The fact is, only a small percentage of immigrants are actually eligible for public benefits, but with these new guidelines, 382,000 of the 544,000 applicants processed by USCIS each year will be subject to review.
At Davis & Associates, we are here to help immigrants throughout the state of Texas with their green card applications. If you have questions about how the new rule might impact your immigration status, give us a call at (214) 999-1942 to schedule your free case consultation.