On Thursday, September 8, DHS issued a new final public charge rule, officially rolling back the restrictive policy issued by former president Donald Trump.
The most important difference in this new rule surrounds the use of supplemental public health benefits such as Medicaid or food stamps.
Under the previous policy, potential immigrants faced a test that considered their age, medical conditions, skills, and family size to determine the likelihood of becoming a public charge.
As a result thousands of potential immigrants had their applications denied while the rule was in place.
Two months after taking office, President Biden stopped defending the 2019 public charge rule against lawsuits and allowed a federal court to block the policy.
His administration then released a draft version of its own public charge rule in February, which received more than 10,000 public comments.
This new final rule is the result of that feedback, and now uses the following criteria to determine whether or not an immigrants might become a public charge:
It also makes clear that DHS will NOT consider the following when determining the likelihood of becoming a public charge:
The final rule will go into effect on December 23, 2022, and be published in the Federal Register on September 9, 2022.