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Update on Public Charge

On August 14 of 2019, the federal administration, through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), announced a new rule related to public benefits and public charge that was intended to go into effect originally on October 15 of 2019. This current language included in the rule is designed to confuse and exclude people.

Under this rule, immigration officials can deny visas to enter the country or legal permanent residency (“green card”) to not only those who are public charges, but to those who are determined likely to become public charges or use public benefits. It is important to note that the vast majority of persons who apply for a visa or legal permanent residency are not eligible for the very benefits which the new rule considers at the time that they apply.

On January 30th of 2020, USCIS announced that the agency would apply the new public charge inadmissibility rule to applications and petitions submitted on or after February 24, 2020. Illinois had a statewide injunction in place that prohibited the rule from being implemented within the state. However, the U.S. Supreme Court decision voted to lift the public charge injunction in Illinois this past 2/21/20.

These are some resources you can visit and share to learn more about the Public Charge rule:

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