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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Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Enforcement of Public Charge Rule Halted by Court

A federal court today put a stop to the enforcement of the Public Charge Rule by the Trump Administration, removing a major roadblock for immigrants to apply for green cards.

Since its effective date of February 25, 2020, the rule has required visa applicants to prove that they are not likely to be financially dependent on the government.  Green card applicants must complete the new  Form I-944, Declaration of Self-Sufficiency and provide extensive financial documents including tax returns, credit reports, as well as documents regarding their assets, liabilities, health insurance, etc. 

Today, District Court Judge George B. Daniels in New York issued nationwide preliminary injunctions to enjoin the enforcement of the rule by the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. 

It means that, at least for now, green card applicants are not subject to the requirements of the Public Charge Rule. The case will likely be reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court, which had previously removed prior injunctions on the enforcement of the rule.  As explained by Judge Daniels, we are in a different world now after the outbreak of COVID-19 and it is necessary to stop the enforcement of the rule to make sure that people are able to obtain the necessary healthcare and other resources to combat the pandemic.  Consequently, the Supreme Court may have a different conclusion this time. 

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