What is the Public Charge Rule and How Does it Affect US Immigration?


[The following is the full transcript of the blog video: What is the Public Charge Rule and How Does it Affect US Immigration?]

Hello, this is Erick Widman from Passage Immigration Law. And in this video, we’re going to jump into and explore a new rule that was just implemented this week by the Department of Homeland Security called the public charge rule. This is a major change because many experts are predicting that this rule in and of itself, will result in 50% or more denials of all green card and visa applicants through a family member. It has the potential the likelihood of transforming our legal immigration system. First question is many people are asking me, how is the Trump administration able to do this on their own without getting Congress involved? The answer to that is Mr. Trump controls the executive branch, which is in charge of the various bureaucracies that oversee immigration. So the Department of Homeland Security oversees us cis US citizenship immigration service, and they’re able to create rules, regulations, that allow the USC IAS officers to adjudicate cases to know specifically more specific than the laws that Congress passed, Congress passes these statutes in their legislative branch. But there’s a lot of discretion over what rules the executive branch can use to carry out their their mission. And similarly, the Department of State has a rulemaking process. And they have rules and regulations in the Foreign Affairs Manual, for example, that give consular officers guidance on what criteria they should use when someone’s applying for a visa. And so the public charge rule also is going to be affecting visa applicants outside the US. And they’re trying to harmonize those to beat Brock bureaucracies Department of State Department of Homeland Security, they’re trying to harmonize the public charge rule, much has to be seen as to how this is all going to be playing out. But the form 944 declaration of self sufficiency has already been rolled out. embassies are using their questionnaire as well. So things are in motion. What is this public charge rule? It’s been a law, it’s been in place for over 100 years. But the interpretation of it, the rules and regulations for enforcing public charge have recently changed radically. And since the 90s, they’ve been enforced very differently. Public charge essentially means is Congress intended it back then is that immigrants to the US should not be primarily dependent on government services. And that has been enforced through an affidavit of support requirement form a 64. For a while, the focus there was that your sponsor, the typically the petitioner, you could get a joint sponsor, an uncle who’s willing to say, all cover for this immigrant, if for some reason, the immigrant has to rely upon government benefits. And so for the last several decades, having a sponsor sign an affidavit of support has met, the key requirement over being primarily dependent or likely to become dependent on the government. The standard is also changing under the recent regulations of the public charge rule. So you’re more likely than not to under the new rule, that’s the standard they’re using to become dependent upon government services, you’re going to be inadmissible under the public charge rule. And they’re looking at different criteria to determine well, who who is going to be more likely than not to use government services. And they’re, they’re looking at factors now, such as age, such as income, credit score. And as I was delving into these new rules, it occurred to me that my own mother in law from Hungary, who is a pharmacist, is probably not going to be able to get a green card under these rules. This is crazy, because she is highly educated. She, however, and she’s had a great career, but she’s not going to be employable here. She’s a grandmother, she wants to take care of our kids and spend at least six months out of the year working with us. She hasn’t we haven’t applied for her green card, but we wanted it to be an option. And so this is going to have a far reaching impact on hundreds and thousands of millions of people really, and we’re gonna have to see how it plays out.

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