The public charge rule has been a part of immigration law for as long as the immigration law itself. However, the Trump administration gave it a whole new definition. The rule restricts legal immigration. The result is that millions of green card and visa applications within the United States were rejected, and millions more outside the U.S.
President Joe Biden plans to reverse Trump’s public charge rule. He intends to terminate the policies altogether, especially the aspect that denies visas or permanent residency to immigrants using public services.
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What Was Trump’s Public Charge Rule?
Under the Trump administration, the public charge rule stated that people who wouldn’t support themselves financially while being resident in the United States or have been a beneficiary of at least one public service in the past should be denied green cards any other kind of visa. It also gives the U.S. government the right to deny green cards to people who are likely to depend on such services in the future. It set 20-factor criteria for granting green cards and visas, including age, financial status (which alone affects over half of green card applicants), English proficiency, family status, and ability to pay your medical bills (which can be overwhelming), and so on.
This new rule is essentially a wealth test for immigrants looking to become permanent residents in the country. Because a USCIS officer will go through one’s finances, consider the assets and financial status, and then decide if one is likely to be a public charge at any time in the future. It calls for a deep dive into one’s financial history.
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What Were the Effects?
The new rule resulted in the deportation of legal and illegal immigrants, separation of a child from its parent at the border, and denial of millions of green card and visa applications. The rule doesn’t only make it hard for low-income immigrants into the U.S. but also affects already-resident immigrants. It restricts them from getting themselves enrolled in needed social services such as Medicaid.
Out of fear of being separated from their family, immigrants don’t dare access public benefits. Immigrants are forced to choose between their well-being and their immigration status (tough choice!). The Trump administration sanctioned immigrant communities to seek help when needed, including those who aren’t even at risk. As a result, local organizations and service providers in many states reported a massive decrease in enrollment in public programs.
Where Does Trump’s Public Charge Rule Stand Today?
Trump’s public charge rule has, time and again, met with opposition, especially by critics who believe the rule is just a ‘wealth test’. Several cases have been filed to prevent the implementation of the rule. On Nov 2nd, 2020, a federal judge, in a 14-page ruling, ordered that the Trump administration vacate the policy that restricts issuance of green cards to immigrants who cannot financially fend for themselves. It cited flaws that made the rule arbitrary and baseless. However, the Trump administration plans to appeal the decision and take it to the Supreme Court.
Biden’s Plan for Reversing Trump’s Public Charge Rule
While there has always been a public charge rule in the immigration law as one of the grounds of inadmissibility for immigrants’ permanent residency, the Trump administration went the extra mile to place a more restrictive rule through the USCIS. Biden intends to put an end to the new policy and revert to the original guidelines.
Many of the DHS employees who were not in support of Trump’s new public charge rule and were afraid of the havoc it would wreak in the country are relieved that Biden won the election. Joe Biden plans to sign executive orders that will reverse Trump’s public charge rule. He intends to extend the arm of permanent residency to over 10 million illegal immigrants. He also plans on re-establishing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which, under Trump’s administration, gave the government a right to deny visas and green cards to people who rely on public services.
President Biden plans to put a deportation freeze while it studies Trump’s policies in his first 100 days. While he does that, he will restore the Obama-Biden policy, which prioritizes the deportation of only undocumented immigrants and have been convicted of one crime or the other.
How Will Biden’s Plan Help Immigrants?
President Biden’s plan will immediately restore DACA to its original state while exploring all legal options to prevent family separation. Biden will create a path to citizenship for immigrants and their family members. The majority of his long-term immigration goals are to avoid inhumane separation of families and preserve unification. The change will lift the restriction placed on green card issuance to resident immigrants, eliminating the need to submit Form 1-944, Declaration of Self Sufficiency.
What Are the Next Steps?
While awaiting the Joe Biden public charge rule reform to take effect, applicants are advised to keep their heads down. Simultaneously, they should gather as much information as possible and be ready to apply again as soon as the reform is in effect.
Contact Attorney Eric Price Today!
For further inquiries on Joe Biden’s charge rule, contact Attorney Price’s office via:
Phone: +1 213-995-6655
Address: 700 Flower St #2925, Los Angeles, CA 900017, United States
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