Filed Under: Politics

DHS changes immigration rules for green card seekers

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The Department of Homeland Security is making a rule change that will make it easier for migrants who receive financial assistance from the government to obtain green cards. The department explained in a press release that the rule change better aligns with guidance that had been in place from 1999 until 2019 when it was changed under the Trump administration.

“Though there is still much to do to overcome confusion and fear, we will continue to work to break down barriers in the immigration system, restore faith and trust with our immigrant communities, and eliminate excessive burdens in the application process,” U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Ur M. Jaddou said in a statement.   

Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, non-citizens are deemed inadmissible if they are likely at any time to become a public charge. Translation: if the person is likely to become dependent on government benefits, like Medicaid or SNAP nutrition assistance, they will be denied a green card.

Under the new rule, DHS will only consider cash benefits to make a public charge determination, including Supplemental Security Income, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. Non-cash benefits will not be considered. Those include SNAP and other nutrition programs, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, Medicaid, housing benefits and more.

There was a range of feedback during the public comment period. Those in favor said the change will streamline the application process and allow immigrants to fill jobs U.S. citizens may not favor.

Those against had multiple viewpoints – the rule is too lenient and the rule is too strict. Some commented that the rule is intended to prevent immigration, while another commenter stated it seeks to punish potential immigrants. Others said it will be an incentive for more immigration to the United States by noncitizens who will rely on public benefits without fear of repercussions.

“This action ensures fair and humane treatment of legal immigrants and their U.S. citizen family members,” Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas said in a statement. “Consistent with America’s bedrock values, we will not penalize individuals for choosing to access the health benefits and other supplemental government services available to them.”

The Migration Policy Institute estimates no more than 167,000 people, or less than 1% of the 22.1 million non-citizens living in the U.S., would be considered a public charge.

When determining whether a green card applicant is likely to receive government benefits, immigration authorities consider the applicant’s age, health, family status, assets, resources, financial status, education and skills. They also check to see if the noncitizen has previously received any cash assistance.

The new rule takes effect Dec. 23.

The Department of Homeland Security is making a rule change that will make it easier for migrants who receive financial assistance from the government to obtain green cards.

Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, non-citizens are deemed inadmissible if they are likely at any time to become a public charge. Meaning – if the person is likely to become dependent on government benefits like medicaid or Snap nutrition assistance, they will be denied a green card. 

Under the new rule, DHS will only consider cash benefits to make a public charge determination – like Supplemental Security Income, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. Non-cash benefits will not be considered. Those include SNAP and other nutrition programs, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, Medicaid, housing benefits, and more. 

There was a range of feedback during the public comment period. Those in favor of the new rule said it will streamline the application process and allow immigrants to fill jobs U.S. citizens may not favor. Those against said the rule is intended to prevent immigration, while another commenter stated that the proposed rule seeks to punish potential immigrants. Others said the rule will be an incentive for more immigration to the United States by noncitizens who will rely on public benefits without fear of repercussions. 

The Migration Policy Institute Estimates 167,000 people or less than 1 percent of the 22 .1 million non-citizens living in the U.S. would be considered a public charge. The new rule takes effect December 23rd. Straight from DC, I’m Ray Bogan. 

The Department of Homeland Security is making a rule change that will make it easier for migrants who receive financial assistance from the government to obtain green cards. The department explained in a press release that the rule change better aligns with guidance that had been in place from 1999 until 2019 when it was changed under the Trump administration.

“Though there is still much to do to overcome confusion and fear, we will continue to work to break down barriers in the immigration system, restore faith and trust with our immigrant communities, and eliminate excessive burdens in the application process,” U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Ur M. Jaddou said in a statement.   

Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, non-citizens are deemed inadmissible if they are likely at any time to become a public charge. Translation: if the person is likely to become dependent on government benefits, like Medicaid or SNAP nutrition assistance, they will be denied a green card.

Under the new rule, DHS will only consider cash benefits to make a public charge determination, including Supplemental Security Income, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. Non-cash benefits will not be considered. Those include SNAP and other nutrition programs, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, Medicaid, housing benefits and more.

There was a range of feedback during the public comment period. Those in favor said the change will streamline the application process and allow immigrants to fill jobs U.S. citizens may not favor.

Those against had multiple viewpoints – the rule is too lenient and the rule is too strict. Some commented that the rule is intended to prevent immigration, while another commenter stated it seeks to punish potential immigrants. Others said it will be an incentive for more immigration to the United States by noncitizens who will rely on public benefits without fear of repercussions.

“This action ensures fair and humane treatment of legal immigrants and their U.S. citizen family members,” Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas said in a statement. “Consistent with America’s bedrock values, we will not penalize individuals for choosing to access the health benefits and other supplemental government services available to them.”

The Migration Policy Institute estimates no more than 167,000 people, or less than 1% of the 22.1 million non-citizens living in the U.S., would be considered a public charge.

When determining whether a green card applicant is likely to receive government benefits, immigration authorities consider the applicant’s age, health, family status, assets, resources, financial status, education and skills. They also check to see if the noncitizen has previously received any cash assistance.

The new rule takes effect Dec. 23.

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