At the end of last month, the Trump Administration proposed a rule which
would make it more difficult to obtain green cards or
visas for immigrants already living in the United States and those wanting to
enter, if they rely on public services such as food stamps, public housing,
and Medicaid. If made final, the revised regulations would harm many immigrant
families and damage the nation’s economy.
The main purpose of the proposal is to widen the definition of “public
charge,” which started in the 1800s to deny entry to immigrants
deemed most likely to depend on government subsidies. Those who apply
for green cards have always been required to prove they wouldn’t
be a financial burden, including a 1999 rule which prohibits immigrants
from receiving legal residency if they were found likely to rely on cash
benefits, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Temporary Assistance
for Needy Families (TANF).
However, the new rule would consider the use of Section 8 housing assistance
and food stamps would disqualify immigrants from obtaining a green card
and even temporary visas. The updated process would examine a person’s
income and financial assets to determine the new standards for low income
and apply negative points on certain factors, including lack of employability
and lack of ability to cover medical expenses.
If the proposed rule goes into effect, many immigrants may be discouraged
from seeking public assistance from the government, which can result in
increased financial hardship for these families. It is important to highlight
that green card holders pay taxes supporting these programs since income
and payroll taxes are withheld from their paychecks and they also pay
property and sales tax.
If you have been denied receiving or renewing a green card in Santa Barbara
or Ventura County,
contact our experienced legal team at
Appel & Morse today.