An Update on Public Charge

August 28, 2019

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced on Monday, August 12th that the proposed changes to the public charge rule have been finalized and will take effect on Tuesday, October 15th. The public charge rule, when taken into effect, will make it more difficult for immigrants applying for admission to the United States or adjusting their status to a lawful permanent resident (green card). Immigrants who are deemed likely to use services such as food stamps, Medicaid, and public housing could be subject to inadmissibility. Current green card holders, refugees, asylees, SIJS victims of trafficking (T visas), victims of domestic violence and other serious crimes (U visas) are exempt from the public charge rule.

The public charge rule has caused a chilling effect in immigrant communities across the United States. The Arab-American Family Support Center has received numerous calls and visits from individuals concerned about the implications on themselves and their family members. We encourage anyone with questions or concerns to come speak with our team or another certified attorney before disenrolling from entitled benefits. While this change in rule instills fear throughout immigrant and refugee communities, it is important to note that it only applies to a small percentage of immigrants who are attempting to adjust their status to a permanent resident (green card). The majority of immigrants who do not have a lawful permanent residency are already unable to receive these benefits.

It is critical that we all remain vigilant and knowledgeable about who is being targeted, discriminated against, and impacted by various policy changes, including the changes to public charge. Let us join together to fight fear with facts. Take a close look at this important information: