On February 3, 2020, the Supreme Court issued a 5-4 vote on immigration law that makes it more challenging for immigrants with fewer resources to migrate to the U.S. This vote was conducted on what is known as the “public charge rule,” which was initially unveiled in August 2019. Overall, this vote will impact those who may rely on public assistance, such as food stamps, housing vouchers, and Medicaid, to maintain their lifestyle.
This new rule will have the biggest effect on those who are trying to obtain lawful permanent status in the U.S. and will reshape immigration law as a whole by limiting green card access to those with lower incomes.
This “public charge” provision has roots in the Immigration Act of 1882. At the time, federal lawmakers instituted this rule to ensure that instead of becoming dependent on government resources, immigrants would be able to take care of themselves. In 1996, updated regulations were put into place, and the term was changed to mean someone who relies on government assistance for more than half of their income.
While it is difficult to know how many people will be affected by this recent ruling on immigration law, we realize many of our clients may have concerns about their future due to its passing. Please contact us at Waldron Law Firm, PLLC if you would like to speak with one of our attorneys about the public charge rule and how it could impact you and your family.