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Immigration Law

Expert: Proposed Immigration Rule Attacks a 'Small Problem With a Big Stick'

Victoria Macchi, Aline Barros, VOA, July 10, 2018 - "By the end of July, the Trump administration is expected to take a step closer to another sweeping policy shift that could block millions of foreigners from coming to the United States or from staying in the country if they have had access to certain public benefits, like children's health care. One team of analysts says the revamped “public charge” policy could lead to U.S. citizens in mixed-status families not getting crucial services they need and are entitled to out of fear that it could jeopardize a relative’s immigration status. It all comes down to how the U.S. government defines a “public charge,” and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is pushing for a change. “This is not a new issue,” said Stephen Yale-Loehr, a professor of immigration law at Cornell University. “The United States has prohibited the entry of paupers and people likely to become public charges since 1882. Most potential immigrants must show that they earn at least 125 percent of the federal poverty income guidelines before they are granted green cards, or have sponsors assume financial responsibility for them. Moreover, he notes, of the more than 1 million people granted permanent residency in Fiscal Year 2017, only 3,237 were found ineligible, based on public charge concerns. “The Trump administration is attacking a small problem with a big stick,” Yale-Loehr said."