US will not issue green cards to immigrants who benefit from social assistance
In October of 2019, the rules of the administration of US President Donald Trump will come into force, which may prohibit the issuance of green cards to immigrants using Medicaid, food stamps or other forms of state assistance. Writes about it CNBC.
Federal law already requires those who want to obtain a green card and legal status in the United States to prove that they will not be a burden for taxpayers or the so-called “public burden”, but the new rules promulgated on Monday, August 12 detail a broader the range of reasons why the applicant may be refused a green card.
US Citizenship and Immigration Services officers will now evaluate government assistance along with other factors, such as education, family income, and health, to determine whether legal immigrant status should be granted to a US immigrant.
Most of President Donald Trump’s efforts to combat illegal immigration has been the focus of attention, but such a change in the rules for issuing green cards is one of the most aggressive attempts to limit legal immigration. This is part of an attempt to push the United States to introduce a system that focuses on immigrant skills rather than focusing on family reunification, as it did before.
The rules will enter into force in mid-October 2019 year. They do not apply to US citizens, even if the US citizen is a relative of the immigrant to whom they were applied. This means that US citizens can receive state aid without fear of harming immigrant relatives.
Ken Cucinelli, Acting Director of Citizenship and Immigration Services, said the rule change was in line with the president’s republican views.
“We want people coming to this country to be self-sufficient,” said Cuccinelli. - This is the basic principle of the American dream. This is deeply rooted in our history, and especially in our history of legal immigration. ”
Immigrants make up a small percentage of those who use social programs. In fact, many are not eligible for public goods because of their immigration status.
But lawyers fear that the rules will scare immigrants and they will not seek help. The rules give too broad powers to immigration agents in deciding whether someone might need government assistance at any time, giving immigration officials the opportunity to deny more people legal status.
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According to the government, an average of 544 000 people annually apply for green cards, with about 382 000 people falling into categories that directly relate to the new rule.
In the guidelines used since 1999, “public burden” refers to individuals who are primarily dependent on cash assistance from US citizens or government support.
Under the new rules, the Department of Homeland Security redefined the “public burden” by referring to individuals who are “more likely” to claim benefits for more than 12 months in a 36-month period. If someone has two benefits per month, this is considered two months. In addition, the definition of “social burden” has been expanded to include Medicaid, housing assistance and food assistance under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
After the proposed rules were published last fall, the National Security Service received 266 000 comments from the public, more than a third agreed with such changes to the rules, and as a result, a number of amendments were made to the final version of the document.
For example, pregnant women who receive Medicaid or need government assistance will not be subject to the new rules during pregnancy and for 60 days after the birth of the baby. That is, if they received benefits during this period, they will not affect their right to receive a green card.
The Medicare Part D subsidy for low-income people will not be considered a government benefit. And the benefits received by children before the 21 year will not be considered as a reason for refusing a green card. Emergency medical care, school lunch programs, adoption assistance, student loans and mortgages, as well as disaster relief and shelters for the homeless will also not be taken into account.
Cuccinelli said the comments led to changes that "in his opinion, made these rules only stronger."
Green card applicants will be required to file tax returns for three years in addition to their employment history. And if immigrants have private health insurance, this will go a long way in their favor.
Active US troops are exempt from these rules. Refugees or asylum seekers will not be applied retroactively.
According to a census analysis, low-income non-citizen immigrants use Medicaid, food assistance, cash assistance and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) at a lower rate than low-income American citizens.
In general, immigrants are a small part of those who receive public assistance. For example, immigrant aliens make up only 6,5 percent of all who participate in Medicaid. More than 87 percent of the participants are citizens of the country. The same goes for food aid: immigrants make up only 8,8 percent of the recipients, and more than 85 percent of the participants are US citizens.
The new threshold of state aid, taken along with increased requirements for education, work skills and health requirements, will make it difficult for immigrants to get green cards.
“The new rules for immigrants mean that many more US citizens will be unable to live with their spouses, children and parents in the United States,” said Ur Jaddou, a former employee of the Citizenship and Immigration Services, who is currently the director of DHS Watch, a company founded in order to protect the rights of immigrants. “These are not just small changes.” These are big changes with huge consequences for US citizens. ”
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