The Biden administration stopped enforcing certain “public charge” green card restrictions. The Trump administration put these restrictions in place.
What is Public Charge?
Public charge made its introduction into American law in the 1880s. This is when the government started with immigration regulations. Today, the term is used as a ground of inadmissibility. Grounds of inadmissibility are reasons that a person could be denied a green card, visa, or admission into the United States. Regarding public charge, a person could be denied if determined that he or she would be dependent on government benefits. The Trump administration expanded public charge to anyone needing government assistance. Basically, they changed the rules for those seeking legal permanent residency in the United States. The goal of the Trump policy was to only approve green cards to those who are self-sufficient.
Advocates and opponents to the Trump policy have been fighting public charge cases in courts across the country. These courts, and the Biden Administration, are determining that the Trump-era public charge rule was very restrictive and required too much documentation from both the green card applicant and household members. For example, applicants had to provide credit reports, bank statements, and other documents showing they speak English and have employment skills to work in the USA. This documentation was a requirement under the Trump Administration as part of Form I-944. Now, Form I-944 is no longer in use.
Applicants still need to show that they can support themselves. However, they can now get a joint sponsor to help meet that financial showing.
Under Trump, many legal immigrants passed up on government aid. Even though they were entitled to the aid, many feared that the acceptance of it would harm their immigration status. Now, more families will have access to food and health care. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said, The 2019 public charge rule was not in keeping with our nation’s values. It penalized those who access health benefits and other government services available to them.
This is indeed good news for those seeking a green card. So, please call me if you have any questions about this blog or other immigration law issues.