This summer, the Trump administration issued a controversial new rule that would have imposed new financial standards on immigrants who are seeking lawful permanent residency (green cards). The rule reinterprets a policy against immigrants who are likely to become a "public charge" which has been in place for over 100 years.
The Immigration and Naturalization Act (INA) already says that immigrants can't be a "public charge," meaning they aren't supposed to cost taxpayers money by relying on public benefit programs. If they are, or are likely to become, a public charge, immigrants are not eligible for visas or green cards.
Recently, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced a proposal that would have impacted many immigrants seeking admission to the U.S., wishing to extend a nonimmigrant stay or applying for green cards. Immigrants engaging in those immigration activities are required to prove that they won't be an economic burden on American society -- a "public charge," as the law terms it. The DHS proposal sought to clarify which public benefits could count against immigrants trying to prove they won't be a public charge.
If you’re applying for a green card, you probably already know that you have to prove you won’t be an economic burden -- a “public charge” on American society. Recently, however, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced a new proposal that could make it harder for some immigrants to prove that.