U.S. Law Center

Trump administration's expanded public charge rule upheld

Immigrants in California need to be aware of a recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court. The court ruled that the Trump administration's public charge rule can go into effect. Immigrants' rights groups had opposed the law and had filed a lawsuit against the government to prevent it from becoming effective.

The public charge rule allows people who apply to become naturalized U.S. citizens to be denied if they are deemed to be likely to become public charges. Historically, this rule had been interpreted to include people who had received cash assistance or have had long stays in hospitals. The Trump administration changed the public charge rule to include people who have had food stamps or who have received Medicaid.

Critics argue that the expanded public charge rule will disproportionately impact low-income immigrants and people who are non-white. The Supreme Court's decision was a split decision with the four justices who were appointed by Democrats voting against the new rule and the five justices who were appointed by Republicans voting to uphold the rule.

Lawful permanent residents in California who would like to become naturalized U.S. citizens may want to get help from experienced immigration law attorneys. The lawyers might assist them with their applications to make certain that they are completed correctly and include all of the required documents. The attorneys may help their clients prepare for their interviews and tests. If the clients have previously received food stamps or Medicaid, the attorneys might work to secure waivers of inadmissibility on their clients' behalf. People who are currently lawful permanent residents who would eventually like to become naturalized citizens might also want to get help to learn about the options that they might have if they need social assistance to avoid encountering problems under the updated public charge rule.

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