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Public Charge Rule Blocked by Federal Courts

Three Federal Judges recently blocked implementation of the Trump Administration’s Public Charge rule, which was scheduled to become effective on October 15. The Administration has said it will challenge the rulings, which are temporary in nature. The issue is now likely to move to other courts and possibly on to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Late last year, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a proposed rule titled “Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds.” Under the proposed rule, DHS specified how it will determine whether an individual applying for admission to the country is inadmissible because of the likelihood that the applicant will become a public charge.

The proposed rule would establish a new definition for the term “public charge” which refers to as an individual who is dependent on the government for his or her basic needs. The rule proposes new thresholds of public benefits that would indicate whether an applicant for admission or alien seeking an extension of stay or change of status is or is likely to be a public charge. According to the Immigration and Nationality Act, any individual who “is likely at any time to become a public charge” cannot be approved for a visa or admitted to the United States.


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