The Public Charge test to become a legal permanent resident (LPR) or “green card” holder, requires a person show that he or she is unlikely to become a “public charge” in the future. A person can be considered a public charge if he or she is receiving cash assistance (including Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Supplemental Security Income, and General Assistance) and/or if he or she is institutionalized for long-term care at government expense. Now, there is a proposal to drastically expand the list of programs included in public charge determination to include: SNAP, Medicaid (not counting emergency coverage), subsidies for Medicare Part D (prescription drugs), Section 8 subsidies, and public housing.
The proposed Public Charge Rule changes would:
- Increase fear and anxiety and create confusion in immigrant communities.
- Result in parents and children forgoing critical assistance for fear of being targeted for deportation, putting them at greater risk of falling into poverty.
- Effectively create an income test for legal permanent resident applicants.
- Prevent family reunification.
The LWV Immigration position states that immigration policies should promote family reunification and ensure fair treatment under the law for all persons. This policy change would also go against several LWVUS Social Policy positions (Meeting Basic Human Needs, Housing, Healthcare, Equality of Opportunity, and Early Intervention for Children at Risk).
Submit a public comment by December 10, 2018 to the US Department of Homeland Security opposing the changes to the Public Charge Rule, “Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds.” Your comment should be short and personal. Preferred submission is through the government site:
Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds (site with the complete proposal and a click to submit comment) https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=USCIS-2010-0012-0001
Comments can also be submitted by mail: Samantha Deshommes, Chief, Regulatory Coordination Division, Office of Policy and Strategy, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security, 20 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20529-2140. To ensure proper handling, please reference DHS Docket No. USCIS-2010-0012 in your correspondence. Mail must be postmarked by the comment submission deadline, December 10, 2018.