Capitol Correspondence - 08.19.19

Trump Administration Releases Final “Public Charge” Rule

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ANCOR is sharing this article by the Associated Press (AP) as an update on this previous story. ANCOR commented on the rule when it was still in draft stage to share concerns about its effect on immigrants with disabilities or with children with disabilities. Readers interested in learning more about this rule might be interested in this new fact sheet by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

As written in the AP:

“The Trump administration announced Monday it is moving forward with one of its most aggressive steps yet to restrict legal immigration: Denying green cards to many migrants who use Medicaid, food stamps, housing vouchers or other forms of public assistance.

Federal law already requires those seeking to become permanent residents or gain legal status to prove they will not be a burden to the U.S. — a “public charge,” in government speak —but the new rules detail a broader range of programs that could disqualify them.

It’s part of a dramatic overhaul of the nation’s immigration system that the administration has been working to put in place, despite legal pushback. While most attention has focused on President Donald Trump’s efforts to crack down on illegal immigration, including recent raids in Mississippi and the continued separation of migrant parents from their children, the new rules target people who entered the United States legally and are seeking permanent status.

Trump is trying to move the U.S. toward a system that focuses on immigrants’ skills instead of emphasizing the reunification of families.

Under the new rules, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will now weigh whether applicants have received public assistance along with other factors such as education, income and health to determine whether to grant legal status.

The rules will take effect in mid-October. They don’t apply to U.S. citizens, though immigrants related to the citizens may be subject to them.”

Politico Pro offered additional news on litigation on the works on this topic:

“Santa Clara County and the city and county of San Francisco filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday against the Trump administration’s new “public charge” regulation.

The regulation, which goes into effect Oct. 15, allows federal immigration officials to deny green cards and visas based on the likelihood that an individual will use certain public benefits. Specifically, the measure examines whether the applicant will “more likely than not” use food stamps, welfare, Medicaid, and housing assistance.

The government entities argued in a related complaint that the Trump administration violated federal regulatory law when it greatly expanded the definition of a “public charge” beyond a narrower understanding that had been in effect for two decades.


The plaintiffs also asserted that the administration didn’t present an adequate rationale for the new regulation, which they contend will have health negative consequences and undermine social safety net programs.”

Additionally, 13 states have filed a lawsuit against the rule. These states are: Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Virginia and Washington.