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Public Charge Rule Temporarily Blocked

October 14, 2019
 
 

Three separate federal judges on Friday issued injunctions temporarily blocking the implementation of the Trump administration’s “public charge” rule, The New York Times reported. The rule from the Department of Homeland Security would make it harder for immigrants to gain permanent residency if they use public benefits like food stamps or Medicaid or are deemed likely to become a “public charge” in the future.

Higher education groups and college leaders had raised concerns about the rule, saying it could have a chilling effect on immigrant students accessing benefits for which they're eligible and would send an unwelcoming message to prospective international students and scholars from abroad.

Meanwhile, the State Department published an interim final rule of its own on Friday that would align the standards used by consular officers to determine whether visa applicants are likely to become a public charge in the future with the standards proposed by DHS. A State Department official said the interim final rule will still go into effect Tuesday as scheduled, but that it will not be implemented until after the department gets approval for a new form discussed in the rule. The State Department is seeking approval from the Office of Management and Budget for what the text of the rule describes as a new “Public Charge Questionnaire, which certain categories of applicants will be required to complete to help inform the consular officer's public charge assessment.”

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