Did The Public Charge Rule Get Struck Down?

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Did the public charge rule get struck down? Hi, I’m Jim Hacking, immigration lawyer, practicing law throughout the United States out of our office here in st. Louis, Missouri. If you are a regular subscriber to our YouTube channel, or if you are on our email list you know we have spent a lot of time for the last six or seven months talking about the public charge rule, the expansion by the Trump administration of the public charge rule, and the new I-944 petitioner of self-sufficiency. The Trump administration wants to keep poor people from getting green cards in the United States, and they have made it much harder to get marriage-based or family-based cases approved. They want to make sure that the applicants are not going to become public charges, that the beneficiaries are going to be self sufficient.

There’s always been a rule in effect called the public charge rule. It’s been around for a really long time, and it’s always been subject to different kinds of interpretation. Historically, as long as I’ve been an immigration lawyer, that concern has been addressed by a form called an I-864, which is the affidavit of… No, that’s not the affidavit. The I-864 which is the form that you fill out to notify USCIS that you, the U.S. citizen, or the lawful apparent resident are sponsoring your spouse for the immigrant visa and the green card, and that you have enough money to satisfy your obligations, to take care of that foreign spouse or foreign family member. That form, the I-864, was not the easiest form to fill out, but it was a basic form that tracked the income of the petitioner of the person sponsoring the beneficiary. And then, it showed the income that they made, and how much cash they had, and their ability to support that.

Well, in February of 2020, a new rule went into effect where the Trump administration was making people file this form called the I-944 which was a lot more difficult, a lot more intrusive, and it went way overboard. It was 20 pages long. It took a ton of time and work to prepare this form. Well, some crafty lawyers filed a lawsuit saying that the public charge rule was rendering it impossible for people to get a green card, especially with the economic situation in the United States, after the coronavirus pandemic. And so, last week, a judge halted the Trump administration’s enforcement of the I-944, of the expanded public charge rule. So USCIS has said that they will honor that ruling and that as long as that ruling is in effect, they will adjudicate cases according to the old standard, according to the old just the simple public charge standard, not the new rule that went into effect in February of 2020, which made it much harder for people, especially poor people, to get their green card cases approved. We’re excited about that.

If you have questions about this ruling, just know that the cases will be treated like they were before the rule went into effect. If the public charge rule, as expanded, gets reinstated, if the judge lifts the order, then we will let you know. For now, it’s good news. The public charge rule is back to where it was before, back to where it was sensible. For now, you don’t have to submit a I-944. If you have questions about this, give us a call at 314-961-8200. You can email us at info@hackinglawpractice.com. Be sure to join us in our Facebook group, which is called Immigrant Home. If you like this video, we ask that you please share it out on social and subscribe to our YouTube channel, so that you get updates whenever we make videos just like this one. Thanks a lot. Have a great day.

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