Proposed Changes to Public Charge
What is Public Charge?
The Department of Homeland Security can bar you from entering the United States or deny your application for a Green Card if they believe you are likely to be dependent upon public benefits.
Who will be affected?
Immigrants seeking to enter the United States
Immigrants seeking to become Legal Permanent Residents (Green Card holders)
Public charge does not apply to Legal Permanent Residents seeking citizenship, refugees, or those seeking humanitarian relief.
What are the proposed changes?
Currently the Public Charge test considers cash assistance including: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), General Assisntance (GA), and Institutionalization for long-term care at government expense.
The new proposal would also count: SNAP, non-emergency Medicaid, subsidies for Medicare part D (prescription drugs), Section 8 subsidies, and public housing.
What are the potential effects?
In the proposed rule, DHS notes that the changes could result in “worse health outcomes,” “increased use of emergency rooms,” “increased prevalence of communicable diseases,” “increased rates of poverty” and other concerns that have stark health consequences while forcing more people into poverty.