Important Updates on the "Public Charge" Rule
On January 27th, the Supreme Court ruled in a decision that will allow the Administration’s “public charge” rule to be implemented while it’s being challenged in federal courts. The new rule will go into effect on February 24th, 2020 in every state except Illinois. The final rule will only apply to applications and petitions filed with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services postmarked or submitted on or after February 24, 2020.
What’s the "Public Charge" Rule?
In August 2019, the Trump administration unveiled a policy that changes what’s considered a “public charge.” an immigrant who the federal government thinks will use public benefits or is using certain benefits, which can be used to deny an individual permanent residency. The rule expanded what benefits will be considered a “public charge” to include whether someone uses or might use the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid (with certain exceptions), the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), SSI, and Section 8 Housing benefits.
Federal immigration law requires immigration officials to make assessments about the likelihood that a non-U.S. national applying for an immigration benefit (green card/change in status) will become dependent on the government in the future, a so-called “public charge.” Not all immigrants are subject to the public charge rule – only individuals seeking admission to the United States or applying for a green card based on a petition filed by a U.S. citizen or permanent resident family member are subject to the public charge. The new public charge rule also applies to those who submit applications to adjust their status in the United States.
Which programs will now be considered?
-BadgerCare Plus Healthcare
*Except for anyone under age 21, Emergency Services for adults & children, or care for pregnant women until 60 days after the birth of the baby. *
-Public Housing or Section 8
-Cash benefits from Wisconsin Works (W2), Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or TANF
-Assisted living, nursing home, or home care paid for by a Medicaid long-term care program including a mental health institution.
Who will not be affected?
-Most immigrants will not be impacted, the rule change will not impact the following people:
• Naturalized citizens
-Green cardholders - unless you travel outside the U.S. for more than 6 months.
• Refugee or asylee
• Special immigrant juvenile
• U or T Visa (visas for victims of crimes)
• Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) approved self-petition
• Afghan and Iraqi employees of U.S. armed forces
• Members and families of the U.S. Armed Forces, Ready Reserves, or military serving in active duty
• Relief under the Cuban Adjustment Act (CAA), the Nicaraguan and Central American Relief Act (NACARA)
or the Haitian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act (HRIFA)
What programs will not be considered?
·Non-cash benefits from TANF like childcare and transit subsidies
-Medicaid and other health insurance and health services (including public assistance for immunizations and for testing and treatment of symptoms of communicable diseases, use of health clinics, short-term rehabilitation services, prenatal care and emergency medical services) other than support for long-term institutional care
-Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
-Nutrition programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)- commonly referred to as Food Stamps, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program, and other supplementary and emergency food assistance programs
-Child care services
-Energy assistance, such as the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
-Emergency disaster relief
-Foster care and adoption assistance
-Educational assistance such as Head Start
-Job training programs
-Community-based programs and services that offer food resources like soup kitchens, crisis counseling and intervention, and short-term shelter
-Non-cash benefits under TANF such as subsidized child care or transit subsidies
-Cash payments that have been earned, such as Title II Social Security benefits, government pensions, and veterans' benefits, and other forms of earned benefits
What other factors are considered in the new “public charge” rule?
Immigration officials must use a holistic process and look at a variety of factors to determine who is a “public charge.” While the use of public benefits will be taken into account, the following factors will also be considered:
-Level of Education
Find more information here. And as always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact my district office at (414) 297-1140.
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