Federal Courts Halt Public Charge Rules for NY, VT, and CT

On August 12, 2020, the federal court confirmed that the Trump Administration’s Public Charge rules will Not go into effect for Vermont, Connecticut, and New York. This decision means that USCIS will not be able to take any actions to enforce or apply, the rule for residents of those states. We strongly urge that individuals from those states file their applications as soon as possible. This

The Public Charge Rule changes the standard by which DHS determines whether an applicant for adjustment of status or admission is “likely at any time to become a public charge” and therefore inadmissible to the United States.  The rule bars anyone who receives or is likely to receive one or more of the specified public benefit, for more than 12 months in the aggregate within any 36-month period. The rule defines a public benefit as:

  1. Any federal, state, local, or tribal cash assistance for income maintenance, including:
    1. Supplemental Security Income (SSI), 42 U.S.C. 1381 et seq.;
    2. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), 42 U.S.C. 601 et seq.;
    3. Federal, state, or local cash benefits programs for income maintenance (often called “General Assistance” in the State context, but which also exist under other names);
  2. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), 7 U.S.C. 2011 to 2036c;
  3. Section 8 Housing Assistance;
  4. Section 8 Project-Based Rental
  5. Medicaid, with certain exceptions, such as benefits received by individuals under the age of 21 and pregnant women

The Public Charge Rule does not apply to asylees and refugees.