Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Biden Administration Rolls Back Trump Rule That Penalized immigrants on Welfare Programs; Biden Admin Finalizes Rule to Ignore Immigrants’ Use of SNAP, Medicaid When Considering Green Card Requests; DHS unwinds Trump-era 'public charge' rule for immigrants

Biden administration rolls back Trump rule that penalized immigrants on welfare programs:
The Biden Administration has finalized a rule reversing a Trump-era policy that penalized people who had used certain federal welfare programs as a “public charge” in their immigration and visa applications.
The Department of Homeland Security said Thursday that it would no longer hold against applicants their use of several public health programs, including Medicaid benefits and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, as well as other programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and disaster relief.
“This action ensures fair and humane treatment of legal immigrants and their U.S. citizen family members,” said Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. “Consistent with America’s bedrock values, we will not penalize individuals for choosing to access the health benefits and other supplemental government services available to them.”
Federal immigration law directs authorities, as part of determining whether someone can enter or stay in the United States, to evaluate whether they might become dependent on the government. Refugees, Cubans and Haitians applying for legal status under the Cuban Adjustment Act and the Haitian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act – and asylum seekers, among others – are excluded from being considered public charges for admissibility purposes.
Under the Trump administration, DHS issued a new definition of “public charge” in 2019. It was redefined as an immigrant who accumulates more than a year of public benefits, such as food stamps, Medicaid, and some kinds of housing assistance, within three years. As an example of how it worked, the rule explained that getting two benefits in the same month would qualify as two months. --->READ MORE HERE
Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Biden admin finalizes rule to ignore immigrants’ use of SNAP, Medicaid when considering green card requestsl
The Biden administration on Thursday published its final rule on the forms of government assistance that legal immigrants can receive without disqualifying them from a green card — including food stamps and Medicaid.
The rule, which will go into effect in December, will codify guidance put in place during the Clinton administration and would depart significantly from a now-reversed Trump-era rule issued in 2019 that significantly expanded the forms of welfare that would mark an immigrant as a "public charge."
The "public charge" has been a long-standing concept in immigration law and refers to someone deemed likely to rely on government assistance — it is a condition for denying someone immigration status.
The Biden rule would mean that green card applicants would only be considered a public charge "if they are likely at any time to become primarily dependent on the government" for help. Reliance on Supplemental Security Income (SSI), cash assistance under Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and state, tribal and local cash assistance for income maintenance would still be considered when making that assessment.
However, immigrants would be able to receive benefits that were ruled out by the Trump-era rule, including Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or food stamps, housing vouchers and Medicaid benefits. The Trump rule, which is no longer in effect, defined "public charge" as an immigrant who receives one or more designated public benefits for more than 12 months within a 36-month period. --->READ MORE HERE
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+++++DHS unwinds Trump-era 'public charge' rule for immigrants+++++

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