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U.S. Circuit Court Blocks Public Charge Rule in New York

Public Charge

On August 4, 2020, a federal appeals court blocked the enforcement of the public charge rule in the states of New York, Connecticut and Vermont. This move will allow immigrants in these states to breathe a welcome sigh of relief and to access the public services they need to stay healthy and safe. Allowing immigrants to access public health services without jeopardizing their ability to achieve U.S. citizenship or to obtain a permanent residency visa. For many immigrants, working with an experienced New York immigration attorney can provide added support in dealing with issues related to immigration status, visas and citizenship applications in our area.

COVID-19 Cited as a Factor in Court Decision

In the decision by U.S. Circuit Court Judges Peter Hall, Pierre Level and Gerard Lynch, the court cited the COVID-19 pandemic as a compelling reason to place an injunction on the Trump administration’s interpretation and enforcement of the public charge rule for the duration of the pandemic. During the discussions, the precedents for the rule were discussed along with some exceptions that had been made in the past. The judges determined that it was not in the public interest to enforce the rule and thus potentially prevent immigrants working toward a visa from obtaining the health care and testing they need during the current healthcare crisis.

How the Rule Affects Immigrants

As the court noted, the Trump administration’s interpretation and proposed enforcement of the public charge rule would have no effect on undocumented immigrants. Instead, the rule would create difficulties for immigrants who currently hold green cards or who are in the process of applying for and obtaining visas to live and work legally in the United States. The recent ruling will provide added peace of mind for immigrants who might otherwise be wary of obtaining public health services and other benefits because of the effect these activities might have on their pending visa applications.

The Right Legal Help Makes a Difference

Finding a qualified and experienced New York immigration attorney can help families and individuals to navigate the system more effectively. At Oltarsh & Associates, P.C., we work with you to provide the most practical support for visa requests, citizenship applications and other issues related to the immigration process. Give us a call today at 212-944-9420 to schedule a free case evaluation with our team. We look forward to the opportunity to serve you now and in the future.