A blog about U.S. immigration matters by Paul Szeto, a former INS attorney and an experienced immigration lawyer. We serve clients in all U.S. states and overseas countries. (All information is not legal advice and is subject to change without prior notice.)

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Monday, December 16, 2019

Update on the Nationwide Injunction against Trump's Public Charge Rule

Trump's strict new public charge rule is being tested in the federal appellate courts following the injunctions that halted its implementation. The new policy, which was set to take effect on October 15, 2019, set high standards for green card applicants by evaluating their past use of public benefits. Each applicant was also to be evaluated on  their education levels, finances, health coverage, and even age, among various other factors. The aim is to prevent possible public charges, or those that will likely end up relying on the government for long-term support, from becoming permanent residents.

A last-minute injunction by a federal court in New York put a nationwide pause to the public charge rule just before it was set to take effect. Injunctions were also put in place by federal courts in the Fourth and Ninth Circuit Court areas. Immigration has been operating by old rules and forms during this time.

Recently, the lower court injunctions were lifted by the Ninth and Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. However, the nationwide injunction by New York has still not been lifted, meaning these decisions did not have any practical effect.

All eyes are now on the Second Circuit Court, which has the ability to overrule the New York injunction. Such a decision would trigger the implementation of Trump's public charge policy nationwide.

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