What is Donald Trump’s New Public Charge Rule?

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Tampa Business Lawyer | The Benkabbou Law Firm

The Trump Administration officially released the final version of the new public charge rule on Monday, August 12. The rule was entered into the Public Register and saw a nationwide official release on Wednesday, August 14. The rule will then go into effect 60 days from August 14, in October. The new rule increases the ability of the federal government to reject the request for green cards based on a person’s likelihood to use federal assistance programs. The immigration status of a person will now be linked to their public program usage and their income level.

Trumps New Public Charge Rule Announcement

“Through the public charge rule, President Trump’s administration is re-enforcing the ideals of self-sufficiency and personal responsibility ensuring immigrants are able to support themselves and become successful here in America. We certainly expect people of any income to be able to stand on their own two feet,” Acting Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Ken Cuccinelli said. “A poor person can prepare to be self-sufficient… so let’s not look at that as the be all end all.”

The administration is touting the new public charge rule as a way for immigrants to become independent and to increase self-sufficiency.

How the New Public Charge Rule Affects Immigration

The new rule will affect immigration in a major way, as thousands of people looking to legally obtain a green card could be denied. Right now, immigration agents are required to ask applicants for green cards how they will not place a burden (public charge) on the country if granted a green card. Under the new rule, immigration agents would be forced to make decisions based on the usage of food stamps, Section 8 housing vouchers, and medical assistance by immigrants applying for green cards.

Basically, if a household falls under a specific level of income, the immigration agent will be required to evaluate the home under the public charge test. This includes ascertaining how well the occupants of the home can read, speak, and write English. If you receive any of the benefits mentioned above for a 12-month period in a span of three years and are not a citizen, it will be viewed as unfavorable when determining whether or not you are a public charge.

Trumps New Public Charge Rule

File for a Green Card Now

It is dangerous for you or a family member to wait to file for a green card. With the 60-day countdown already started, you are running out of time to apply for a green card under the old public charge rule if you are a low-income family. The longer you wait to apply for a green card, the likelier it becomes that your case will not be evaluated until after the new rule officially takes effect, causing your case to be evaluated under the new public charge test explained earlier.

Have Questions About the New Public Charge Rule? Contact an Immigration Attorney Today!

Do you have lingering worries and questions about how the new public charge rule will affect you or a family member? If so, it is in your best interest to speak with an experienced immigration services attorney. Call or text the office of The Benkabbou Law Firm, PLLC at 813-586-3351 to schedule a consultation today.

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