By Lyda Marcela Tyburec, Esq,
The Trump Administration Officials announced on September 22, 2018, a new Executive Order with proposed changes to the definition of public charge as basis for denying admission, green cards and visas applications.
If this rule is implemented it would prevent immigrants from securing lawful permanent residence and would prevent them remaining with their families in the USA simply because they receive some type of health care support, nutrition assistance or other vital services.
When is this change going to be in effect?
The Order at this moment is only a proposal and it requires execution and implementation. It will take some weeks before the proposed Order goes into effect, but the public will have the opportunity to prevent the proposed Order from becoming law by submitting comments once the proposed Order is published in the Federal Register.
What are the proposed changes?
The proposed Order seeks to re-define and expand the list of programs that qualify as public charge. Some of the public benefits to be designated in this proposal are federal, state, local, or tribal cash assistance for income maintenance, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF),
Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicaid (with limited exceptions for Medicaid benefits paid for an “emergency medical condition,” and for certain disability services related to education), Medicare Part D Low Income Subsidy, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, or food stamps), institutionalization for long-term care at government expense, Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program, Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance, and Public Housing.
The first three benefits listed above are cash benefits that are covered under current policy.
What to do?
My recommendation is for individuals to get as informed as possible and seek legal advice before receiving public benefits to avoid possible future complications. It is important to understand that the proposed rule does not include some benefits that U.S. children are entitled to receive like prenatal care, WIC, or other health- or food-related benefits.
In addition, the public should be preparing to comment on this proposed Order and be ready to inform the administration that the implementation of this proposed Order will weaken our country by threatening the health and well-being of families around the country.
Lyda Marcela Tyburec, Esq,
Phone: 347 446 4704