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Capitol Correspondence - 07.15.19

White House Reviewing Public Charge Rule Before Issuance

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ANCOR is sharing this article by Politico Pro as an update on this previous article on the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) proposed “public charge rule”, which would make it harder for immigrants to obtain citizenship if they have ever depended on public benefits, including Medicaid. ANCOR has previously expressed concerns on the effect this could have on immigrants with intellectual / developmental disabilities.

As written by Politico Pro:

“The White House budget office began a review last week of a proposed rule that would greatly expand the pool of permanent residents who could be deported for use of public benefits.

The Office of Management and Budget received the Justice Department’s so-called public charge proposed rule on July 3, according to a notification posted to its website.

The regulation is a companion to a sweeping Homeland Security Department proposed rule published in the Federal Register in October. The DHS version of the regulation could bar immigrants from becoming permanent residents if they’ve received certain benefits, or were deemed likely to in the future.

Acting U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Ken Cuccinelli said in an interview last week the DHS public charge regulation could be finalized by the fall. The regulation drew more than 266,000 public comments and vast condemnation from health professionals, educators, and immigrant advocates.

While the text of DOJ’s public charge proposed rule has not yet been made public, Reuters reported in May that it would target certain immigrants who have used cash welfare, food stamps, housing aid or Medicaid.

Federal law allows immigrants to be deported for receiving government benefits within five years of arrival in the U.S., but such removals have been limited to cases in which the federal government demanded payment and immigrants refused to pay.

Deportations related to a public charge determination have been rare, according to a 2018 report by the Congressional Research Service.”