A centerpiece of the Trump Administration’s anti-Legal immigration offensive has been its widely touted new “public charge” regulations.The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA)( has long contained a provision making any intending immigrant who “is likely at any time to become a public charge” “inadmissible.”INA Section 212(a)(4)(A). In other words, such person could not become a permanent resident.
For family-based immigration, the INA also that petitioner (with or without a co-sponsor) had to submit an “Affidavit of Support” (an I-864) (https://www.uscis.gov/i-864) in which the petitioner and any co-sponsor sponsor would accept a legally binding obligation to support the intending immigrant at 125% of the poverty level for up to ten years.
This wasn’t good enough for the Trump Administration, which sought to weaponize the “public charge” provisions be creating unbelievably oppressive and intrusive requirements to satisfy “public charge” concerns.These would have deterred many petitioners from filing for family members and could have made permanent resident status impossible for many immigrants who would be eligible under existing law.
The new regulations and implementing forms were published on very short notice (this week!) and were scheduled to go into effect on October 15, 2019. However, immigration advocates had filed ten federal lawsuits seeking to enjoin (prevent) the new regulations from going into effect because the illegally exceed what the INA requires. Decisions by three federal courts on October 11, 2019 stopped the new regulations dead in their tracks.The following “Alert” now appears on the USCIS website.(https://www.uscis.gov/i-864).
"ALERT: On Oct. 11, 2019, judges in three separate cases before U.S. District Courts for the Southern District of New York, Northern District of California, and Eastern District of Washington enjoined DHS from implementing and enforcing the final rule related to the public charge ground of inadmissibility under section 212(a)(4) of the Immigration and Nationality Act and postponed the effective date of the final rule until there is final resolution in the cases. Two of the injunctions are nationwide and prevent USCIS from implementing the rule anywhere in the United States. Until final decisions in these cases are issued or the injunction is lifted, USCIS will accept the version of this form on this landing page.”
A nice summary of the Federal Judge’s reasoning in the New York Federal Court is at the website “Talking Points Memo”) or “TPM.”https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/judge-blocks-trumps-new-public-charge-rule-for-immigrants-calls-logic-repugnant.I particularly like the language in the Court’s decision calling the new rules “repugnant to the American Dream of the opportunity for prosperity and success through hard work and upward mobility.”