DHS signals that it will vacate the 2019 Public Charge Rule

By Elizabeth M. Klarin

March 10, 2021 | Immigration Blog

On Tuesday, March 9, 2021, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas announced that the government will no longer defend the 2019 public charge rule as doing so is neither in the public interest nor an efficient use of limited government resources.
Since the 1800s, Congress has put into statute that individuals are inadmissible to the United States if they are unable to care for themselves without becoming public charges. Since 1996, federal laws have stated that aliens generally must be self-sufficient. Following on these historical actions, in 2019, President Trump put in place a policy rule that anyone applying for admission or adjustment of status that is likely at any time to become a public charge should be considered inadmissible. Since that time, individuals and families applying for adjustment of status to permanent resident have been required to complete a lengthy form disclosing deep financial data and information, as well as demonstrate their creditworthiness, for consideration under the totality of the merits of whether someone should be granted permanent residence *a “Green Card”).
No guidance has yet been published by USCIS outright revoking the requirement to file form I-944, Declaration of Self-Sufficiency—a requirement for all adjustment of status applications since 2019—and the form remains available on the USCIS website. However, DHS announced that once the rule is permanently vacated, it will follow the 1999 interim field guidance on the public charge inadmissibility provision, at which time the Form I-944 will no longer be required. 
We will be monitoring additional guidance following Secretary Mayorkas’s announcement yesterday. Please continue to check back on this blog for further information, or contact your LMWF immigration professional with questions or concerns regarding this posting.

Disclaimer: The information in this post is provided for general informational purposes only, and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice from our firm or the individual author, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.

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