25 Jul New definition of Public Charge may disqualify many immigrants
The Trump administration is quietly attempting to revamp the U.S. immigration system by circumventing Congress and changing the nation’s immigration policies through new federal regulations. The administration has always favored a significant reduction in legal immigration and has pursued that goal through multiple avenues: admitting fewer refugees, cutting Temporary Protected Status for several countries, and asking Congress to reduce the number of available family visas. In August 2017, the administration supported the RAISE Act—which sought, among other goals, to drastically cut family immigration and eliminate the Diversity Visa.
Now, the administration could significantly restrict family-based admissions by adding to the circumstances under which a non-U.S. citizen is deemed a “public charge”—meaning someone who depends on government means-tested benefits or is likely to depend upon these benefits in the future. Being a public charge is grounds for inadmissibility into the country, and—depending on how far the administration wants to take this—might even become grounds for deportation as well.
An immigrant would be considered a public charge if any of his or her dependents—regardless of whether the dependents are U.S. citizens—are utilizing or might utilize benefit programs.
Being a public charge would no longer be defined only by utilization or possible utilization of cash benefits like Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and General Assistance (GA). If the policy is implemented, an immigrant would also be considered a public charge if he or she utilized (or might have to utilize) non-cash benefits such as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid, and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
An immigrant would be labeled a public charge if he or she had received any benefits in the past 36 months—not just currently or possibly in the future.
An immigrant would be a public charge for receiving benefits in any amount; not just being primarily dependent on those benefits, which is the case now.
If these measures are translated into federal regulations, the share of immigrants who would qualify as a public charge would skyrocket.
According to the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), 1.1 million immigrants would have been unable to become Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) in Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 under this proposed expansion. Just over half of these consisted of new arrivals to the country, while the rest were adjustments of status by immigrants who were already in the United States under a different status.
- On July 12, 2018, we received an approval of naturalization application for a client who has an approved waiver of misrepresentation.
- On July 5, 2018, we received an approval of naturalization application for a client who had a criminal case that was cleared and closed.
- On April 18, 2018, we received a grant of waiver from Immigration Court for a husband and wife client who made a misrepresentation of their marital status but has no criminal records, has long residence and strong family ties in the U.S.
- On April 12, 2018, the Immigration Judge in San Francisco approved a waiver of misrepresentation in applying for a visa for our client who has been in the U.S. for 26 years, no criminal record and strong family ties in the U.S.
- On April 3, 2018, we received an approval from USCIS for a U visa for a client who was a victim of crime.
- For the month ending March 31, 2018, we received approvals for four naturalization applications.
- For the week ending March 31, 2018, we received approvals of six Adjustment of Status, two Application to Remove Condition on Residence and two Renewal of Green Card approvals.
- On March 9, 2018, we received an approval from USCIS for adjustment of status for a client who was abused by her spouse. The I-601 waiver was approved based on extreme hardship.
- On February 15, 2018, we received a grant from Immigration Judge for a waiver of misrepresentation for a client who has been in the U.S. for long period of time.
- For the week ending February 9, 2018, we received approvals of one I-485, one N-400, one I-90 and one I-751.
- On January 12, 2018, we received an approval of immigrant visa at the U.S. Consulate Manila for an alien who applied for I-601-A as one who entered as a seaman.
- On January 10, 2018, we received an approval form USCIS of a self petition for abused spouse based on same sex marriage.
- On January 3, 2018, we received an approval from the Immigration Court for a waiver of misrepresentation for a client who was charged with misrepresentation in marriage;
- On December 15, 2017, we received an approval from USCIS for an adjustment of status for same sex marriage for an applicant who entered without inspection but has Sec. 245 (i).
- On November 16, 2017, we received an approval from Immigration Court for a waiver of misrepresentation for entering as single daughter of U.S. citizen but actually married.
If you have immigration problems the Law Offices of Crispin C. Lozano can help you find a solution before your problem gets worse which could lead to deportation and family separation.
Crispin Caday Lozano, Esq. is an active member of the State Bar of California, the American Immigration Lawyers Association and San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association. He specializes in immigration law and personal injury. For free consultation email or call (firstname.lastname@example.org / 1-877-456-9266)