On July 29, on a welcome note to foreign nationals, a federal judge blocked the Trump administration from implementing it’s Public Charge rule during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Public rule implemented earlier this year in February made it more difficult for immigrants to obtain legal status if they use public benefits such as Medicaid, food stamps, and housing vouchers. Under the rule, any immigrant who receives at least one designated public benefit, including Medicaid, food stamps, welfare or public housing vouchers for more than 12 months within any three-year period will be considered a ‘Public Charge’ and prevented from obtaining a green card. Moreover, this rule was implemented for most visa petitions through an additional questionnaire increasing the paper burden related to cases and potentially impacting (non)immigrants’ ability to obtain the respective visa.
This Public rule immediately met pushback and was subsequently blocked by courts, following its release. The Supreme Court twice denied a request from New York and other states to block the rule, saying it could go into effect nationwide. The second time the court indicated the states must resort to lower courts to bring the challenge and hence the case has been heard.
On July 29, Judge George Daniels of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York implemented a nationwide injunction halting the Trump administration from enforcing the requirements, citing the urgency of the coronavirus pandemic. The worsening coronavirus pandemic provided more urgency to decide on this rule. The matter is now likely to head to the Supreme Court, which has previously acted on it and has been already been a point of contention.
We, at Emandi Law Firm, will continue to keep you updated in relation to the Public Charge rule.