Monzón, Guerra & Associates, Attorneys at Law

Call for Free Initial Consultation
Consultations are Confidential

contact Menu

Rule change could make obtaining a green card more difficult

Fight Your DUI Charges. Contact Us Today.

The federal government recently announced a change to immigration policy that could make it more difficult for those who have entered the United States legally to obtain permanent lawful status needed to remain in this country. According to varying estimates by the Department of Homeland Security and immigration advocacy groups, the new regulation, which goes into effect on Oct. 15th, could affect at least hundreds of thousands, and perhaps millions, of people across the country, including Nebraska. Referred to as the "public charge rule," it will take immigrants' use or predicted use of government aid programs into account when determining eligibility for green cards. 

Immigration law in the United States has included a public charge provision since 1882. What the new rule reportedly changes is the definition of a public charge. In theory, the term refers to someone who becomes a burden on the public. The most recent definition of what it means to be a public charge is someone who receives more than half of his or her support from the government.

Under the new rule, an immigrant who uses one or more of several government assistance programs, including food stamps, housing vouchers or Medicaid, could become a public charge in the eyes of the law. This is a change from the previous policy which included only cash benefits, like Supplemental Security Income or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, toward a person's income in the interest of determining whether more than half is from the government. 

The rule change applies not only to those who seek to enter the United States now or in the future, but those who are already living in the U.S. with an eye toward gaining permanent legal status with a green card. One's use of government assistance is one of several criteria that immigration officials will reportedly look at in determining one's eligibility for legal status. The others include age, health, education, family status, skills and financial resources. 

There are exceptions to the rule. It will not apply to asylum-seekers or refugees. Active-duty members of the U.S. military are exempt. There are also exceptions in place for emergency medical care and Medicaid coverage for those less than 21 years old and women who are pregnant. 

Given that immigrants tend to consume fewer government benefits less often than native-born Americans, the new rule is perplexing. It may be helpful to consult an attorney for questions about immigration policy


No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For a Response

Contact Monzón, Guerra & Associates Attorneys At Law

We Will Go The Extra Mile In Order To Achieve Your Goals & Exceed Your Expectations

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Monzón, Guerra & Associates, Attorneys at Law
1133 H Street
Lincoln, NE 68508

Toll Free: 866-734-7798
Phone: 402-477-8188
Fax: 402-477-8202
Lincoln Law Office Map