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Judge Overturns Trump’s Public Charge Policy for Visa Applicants

immigrants and public assistance

On November 3, 2020, a federal judge ruled that the Trump administration must vacate its policy of denying visas to immigrants based on an interpretation of the public charge rule. This rule has been used to deny green cards to immigrants who, in the view of the Trump administration, might require public assistance programs at some point in the future. In essence, the new interpretation of the public charge rule limited the issuance of green cards only to immigrants with substantial personal wealth. The overturning of this policy is good news for many green card applicants who may have already experienced difficulties in obtaining visas to live and work in the United States.

Ruling Addresses Issues for Immigrants and Public Assistance

The decision handed down by Judge Gary Feinerman on behalf of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois indicated that the Trump administration’s implementation of the public charge policy exceeded the authority of the executive branch of the federal government. Judge Feinerman cited a number of flaws in the policy, including an improper interpretation of the concept of self-sufficiency and a lack of forethought about “predictable collateral consequences” of the implementation of this rule by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The ruling means that officials at USCIS can no longer use the new standard when evaluating and reviewing applications for green cards.

Protecting the Public Interest

Linking immigrants and public assistance requirements as a way of limiting the ability of individuals and families to live and work in the United States is against the public interest, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many people have been affected by job losses, reduced hours and other financial issues associated with the coronavirus outbreak. In many cases, immigrants have been afraid to accept any public benefits because of the negative impact these funds might have on their long-term ability to obtain a green card in the United States. Working with an experienced New York immigration attorney will often provide added help in determining the best course of action to protect the legal rights of immigrants and to ensure that they have the best chance of obtaining visas for themselves and their family members.

If you need a New York immigration attorney to help you navigate the visa application process, Oltarsh & Associates, P.C. can provide you with the right representation for your needs. We work with you to deliver the solutions you need and to help you and your family pursue your dreams of working, studying and building lives in the United States. Give us a call today at 212-944-9420 to schedule a free initial consultation. At Oltarsh & Associates, we are here to serve you.

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