Last week, federal courts issued multiple important decisions in the litigation challenging the Trump Administration’s public charge immigration rule and related policies. We break down these decisions below. The key takeaway is that the public charge rule is currently blocked nationwide for the duration of the COVID-19 public health emergency.
This rule has been the focus of many lawsuits around the United States and has been in effect since January. It is a test used on people trying to immigrate or get a green card. Immigration officials are required to look at all of the relevant details about a person (the “totality of circumstances”) to decide if they are likely to need to use benefit programs. This only applies to the person trying to change their immigration status. Services other family members use don’t count against them. Yes, that includes regional center services, IHSS, and other public services!
Legal challenges to both the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and State Department regulations are ongoing and could result in the regulations being implemented once again. Individuals who expect to apply for a visa or lawful permanent resident status should consult an immigration lawyer. To find help in your area, visit immigrationadvocates.org/nonprofit/legaldirectory.
For more information on these injunctions, see the Protecting Immigrant Families Campaign website.
With this new change, the public charge rule is temporarily on hold across the country. It could be re-activated if this current lawsuit is appealed. Until there is a final outcome, the old rules, dating back to 1999, will be in effect.