Biden administration confirmed the rules The newly announced regulations remove potential hurdles for immigrants seeking to rely on the public good and obtain legal status.
The Trump administration would have amended the decades-old regulation known as the “public burden” to reshape the U.S. legal immigrant population to: It becomes more difficult for individuals to obtain status. Take advantage of utilities such as food stamps and housing vouchers.
But the Biden administration is changing course and looking to roll back Trump-era policies by making a big return to long-standing practices.
“This action will ensure fair and humane treatment of legal immigrants and their families of U.S. citizens,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mallorcas said in a statement. “Consistent with America’s core values, we do not penalize individuals for choosing to access health benefits or other complementary government services available to them.”
Current regulations define the term “public burden” as someone who is “primarily dependent” on government assistance, i.e., who depends on government assistance for more than half of their income.
But that counted only cash benefits, such as temporary assistance programs for families in need and supplemental security income from Social Security. , broadened the definition of a person expected to be dependent on the government. That change is no longer valid.
Under the final rule, Homeland Security will consider benefits such as income maintenance cash assistance and government-funded long-term institutionalization under TANF.
Immigration officers may consider the applicant’s financial resources, health, education, skills, ancestry, and age. However, experts say that few people are rejected for these relatively narrow reasons. The agency will not consider supplemental nutritional assistance programs, children’s health insurance programs, Medicaid, or certain non-cash programs such as benefits related to housing or vaccinations or communicable disease testing.
In a proposed rule issued in February, the DHS noted that changes made by the Trump administration in 2019 would have a chilling effect within immigrant communities and would ban those benefits, such as health care, out of concern that immigrants would use them. claimed to have come to avoid They cannot obtain legal status.
The final rule will go into effect on December 23rd.