Trump administration proposes expanded public charge rule
Immigrants in Texas and around the country who are in the country legally could find obtaining visas and green cards far more difficult under a rule change proposed by the Trump administration on Sept. 22. The United States has had rules in place that allow entry to be denied to those who could become burdens on society since the nineteenth century. The proposed change to what is known as the public charge rule would apply to immigrants receiving benefits such as medical assistance, housing allowances and food stamps.
The proposal does not go as far as earlier calls from the Trump administration to toughen the public charge rule. In August, media outlets reported that the White House planned to expand the rule so that it could be used to deny green cards or citizenship to immigrants who used certain tax credits or obtained medical care under the provisions of the Affordable Care Act.
The proposal would disqualify immigrants who receive $1,821 or more each year in monetary benefits from receiving visas or green cards. The figure of $1,821 was used because this represents 15 percent of the current federal poverty threshold. Groups that advocate on behalf of immigrants have strongly opposed the proposal and say that it is contrary to all that America represents. The public has been given the opportunity to comment on the proposal before it becomes a rule.
Proposed rule changes like this one can be extremely worrying to those hoping to live and work legally in the United States. Attorneys with experience in immigration cases may seek to calm these fears by pointing out that media coverage of these issues is often sensational and explaining the checks and balances that are in place to prevent discriminatory or unconstitutional laws and regulations from being implemented.