New Regulations Could Deny Green Cards to Immigrants on Public Aid

In September, Trump administration officials announced new regulations that would potentially make it more difficult for immigrants on public aid to obtain green cards. The new rule, titled, “Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds,” would impact an estimated 382,000 people utilizing food assistance, Section 8 housing, and Medicare Part D benefits.

The changes are part of the administration’s effort to remove foreign-born people deemed to be a financial drain on the economy. Thousands of immigrants are now left with the choice between utilizing vital assistance and remaining eligible to seek a green card in the United States.

The new regulation was introduced on the Department of Homeland Security website. Though the new regulations are not intended to apply to immigrants who have already received green cards, some immigration experts fear many will forego crucial benefits to protect their status.

New Removal Fears

While the use of public aid is not immediate grounds for green card denial, immigrant caseworkers are instructed to consider it “heavily weighed negative factors,” making applicants less likely to be approved to remain in the country on a permanent basis. In some cases, individuals may be required to post cash bonds of $10,000 or more to prove their financial security and prevent denial.

Opponents of the new rule are concerned that those who are fearful of removal will immediately withdraw from public assistance programs, relinquishing essential food, medicine, and shelter they need to survive. They say this sets a dangerous precedent for the national immigration system, offering only the wealthy access to all the opportunities the country has to offer.

Critics also claim the most vulnerable immigrants affected by the rule are the youngest – the children of parents working low-wage jobs and using public aid to support their families.

Trump Administration Claims

A Department of Homeland Security press release claims the new guidelines will “ensure that those seeking to enter and remain in the United States either temporarily or permanently can support themselves financially.” The rule applies to those seeking to immigrate to this country, and those already living and working here on temporary visas who wish to stay permanently.

While the regulation is subject to a 60-day public approval process, it does not require congressional approval to become final.

Philadelphia Citizenship Lawyers at Surin & Griffin, P.C. Help Clients Navigate Ongoing Immigration Changes

Immigration regulations seem to be changing from month to month. For those seeking a visa or green card, the new immigration policies can be confusing.

The Philadelphia immigration lawyers at Surin & Griffin, P.C. take the time to explain recent changes to immigration policy and guide you through every step of the visa or green card application process. We can work with you in your own language to make sure you fully understand the law and your rights under it. We advocate for you to achieve the best resolution possible for your immigration case.

Schedule your consultation by calling 215-925-4435 or contact us online today. We proudly serve clients throughout the Greater Philadelphia area and across Pennsylvania.