News

Public Charge Goes Into Effect February 24

After months of controversy and litigation, we have some bad news about the Department of Homeland Security’s Public Charge rule.

The US Supreme Court has issued a stay on the nationwide injunction against the rule, meaning the the final rule will go into effect later this month on February 24, 2020.

The final rule will make it harder for some legal immigrants who use certain public benefits to become lawful permanent residents, or green card holders.

The final rule does not apply to all immigrants, but will impact green card applicants and immigrants who apply for reentry after leaving the country for more than 180 days in a row. The rule will not impact people who already have citizenship or a green card, or those with certain immigration statuses, like refugees or asylees. The rule does not apply to KidsCare (CHIP) or to children under 21 who participate in AHCCCS (Medicaid).

Under the new rule, use of the following benefits for more than 12 months out of a 36 month period MAY negatively influence a person’s green card application: long term care paid by the government, cash assistance (through SSI, TANF, or others), section 8 or other federal housing programs, SNAP (food stamps), and AHCCCS (except for young people under age 21, pregnant women and moms up to 60 days postpartum, and emergency AHCCCS).

The legality of the rule is still being played out in the courts. Families with questions should speak with an immigration attorney. To find a list of local legal resources click here.

Fact sheets about the rule are available here in English and Spanish.

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