Trump Administration’s Public Charge Rules Enjoined
On July 29, federal judge George B. Daniels of the U.S. District Court in Manhattan suspended immigration rules on public charge implemented by the Department of Homeland Security(DHS) and Department of State.
The rules became effective on February 24, 2020. The purpose of such rules was to redefine the test for the “public charge” ground of inadmissibility.
Changes Made by the Rules
Before the rules being implemented, a green-card applicant would only be deemed a public charge if he or she was likely to become primarily dependent on the U.S. government through the receipt of cash assistance or benefits for long-term institutionalization. No other types of benefits were considered to be a public charge.
The new rules drastically expanded the number of assistance types that would be classified as a public charge. Green cards would be denied to immigrants who receive Medicaid, food stamps, housing vouchers, or a list of other benefits. Determining public charge also became more complex and subjective with the introduction of the “totality of circumstances” test.
Impacts on Immigrants
As a result, the possibility of applicants being disqualified on public charge grounds drastically increased. In previous years, only fewer than 1 percent of applicants were disqualified for such a reason.
The Supreme Court initially granted permission to the Trump administration to move to implement the rules in January, and they became effective on February 24.
However, after the pandemic strikes, such rules may keep many immigrants from seeking medical care or financial aid, creating even more obstacles for them to maintain health and safety.
Rulings of the Court
New York City, Connecticut, and Vermont sued DHS and the Department of State on the rules implemented as they seriously harm immigrants’ health and safety who need medical and financial support during the pandemic.
The plaintiffs earned their victory as Judge George B. Daniels blocks the Trump administration from implementing the rules mentioned above.
Judge Daniels wrote that the policy “fails to measure up to the gravity of this global pandemic that continues to threaten the lives and economic well-being of America’s residents.No person should hesitate to seek medical care, nor should they endure punishment or penalty if they seek temporary financial aid as a result of the pandemic’s impact.”
Although the DHS and the State Department are now providing guidance for the immigration applications impacted by this ruling, they will likely appeal these court orders.
七月二十九日，美国联邦法官George B. Daniels禁止了国土安全部（DHS）和国务院之前发布的有关公共负担的移民规定。这次被废除的规定本来在2020年2月24日生效。规定的目的都是为了把公共负担的符合标准变得更加广泛。