Trump administration renews 'public burden' rule
On Tuesday, September 22nd, the Trump administration said it is re-introducing a welfare test to obtain a green card, which was blocked during the pandemic. CBS News.
A 2019 rule that gives officials more authority to deny issuing green cards to applicants who the government believes rely or may rely on government benefits such as food stamps or housing vouchers was blocked in late July by a federal judge who found that it is hampering efforts to contain the pandemic.
Judge George Daniels has blocked the implementation of the policy during the country's coronavirus emergency. He referred to statements from doctors and local officials who said that immigrants across the country fear they could jeopardize their immigration status by seeking medical and government assistance during the pandemic.
However, subsequent rulings from the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, including a ruling earlier this month, limited and eventually suspended Daniels' ruling, allowing the Trump administration to re-run public burden checks.
The updated manual on their website The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that it will apply the “social burden” test to all future and pending green card applications filed after February 24, 2020. USCIS said applications filed after Daniels' injunction in July that were approved will not be re-examined.
The “public burden” standard was first incorporated into US law in the early 1880s, when the government began to restrict and regulate immigration at the federal level, including by prohibiting immigrants from China from entering on the grounds that they “threaten the order” of some American communities. The term “social burden” essentially means an economic burden on a country.
Although the test has been used for decades to deny entry to certain low-income immigrants and, in some cases, to deport them, its definition has been extended by the 2019 Trump administration rule. The new rule replaced the Clinton-era leadership, which instructed officials to treat immigrants as a "social burden" only if they received government cash benefits or long-term care in hospitals.
The 2019 rule expanded the type and size of benefits that counts as a “public burden” criterion for immigrants who wish to stay in the United States or move to the United States. The rule requires immigration workers to consider participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Program (SNAP), certain federal-funded Medicaid benefits, and various government subsidized housing benefits, including Title 8 vouchers.
Lawyers have sharply criticized the policy, pointing to the “deterrent effect” it has had on immigrant families who fear the consequences of accessing government benefits. In these families, including, there are green card holders and US citizens who do not receive benefits. However, the Trump administration argues that such policies contribute to the self-reliance of immigrants.
“The expectation that legal immigrants who are going to stay here for a long time stand confidently on their feet is not just a long tradition, but a long-standing legal requirement,” said Ken Cuccinelli, head of the US Department of Homeland Security. - I can refer to the story of my Italian family about people who sponsored and made sure that their sponsored had jobs and so on. This is what we expect. "
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