The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced a final rule that will redefine the “public charge” ground of inadmissibility under the Immigration and Nationality Act and change the way U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officers determine whether an applicant is inadmissible under that statutory ground.
USCIS has posted the pre-publication version of the rule. The final regulation is expected to be published in the Federal Register on Aug. 14, and the new rule will apply to applications and petitions postmarked or submitted electronically on or after the effective date of Oct. 15.
The rule will:
Background: The Trump administration first proposed the regulation in October 2018, and subsequently received 266,077 comments on the rule, the vast majority of which opposed the change, according to DHS. USCIS stated in its announcement of the rule that it will hold engagement sessions in the coming weeks “to ensure the public understands which benefits are included in the public charge inadmissibility rule and which are not.”
BAL Analysis: The rule is scheduled to take effect Oct. 15 at 12:00 a.m. EST, and the agency has stated that applications submitted before that date or that remain pending on that date will be adjudicated under current rules. Depending on how it is implemented, this change could have a significant impact on future permanent legal immigration flows, and organizations have already announced their intent to file lawsuits challenging the regulation. They will likely seek to block implementation of the rule while litigation proceeds. BAL is continuing to review the regulation and will provide updates on developments.
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