We reported on a proposed rule submitted by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) last October that would make changes to the “public charge” rule, a long-standing immigration regulation used when determining if an individual will be allowed legal residency or a change in immigration status based on the public benefits he or she has used or is predicted to use while living in the U.S.
DHS released the final version of the rule on Wednesday, August 14, and it will not go into effect until October 15. A number of lawsuits have already been filed to block implementation of the rule and could have implications for this scheduled effective date. The rule expands the list of public benefits that, if used, could be used to deny an individual’s application for citizenship, green card, visa extension or change in immigration status. The list of benefits now includes all Medicaid programs, SNAP, Section 8 housing and rental assistance, Supplemental Security Income and cash assistance, such as TANF.
While home-delivered or congregate meal services are not explicitly included, there's concern that seniors may be reluctant to participate in any community-based programs for fear it may negatively impact future residency or immigration status, or that of their families or caregivers.
For more information about this final rule, reference these additional resources: