New Proposal from Trump Administration will greatly affect Indian Immigrants

Posted on October 1, 2018

The Indian immigrants to the US as well as their relatives might face new challenges which might complicate their ability to immigrate to US permanently or temporarily. That’s not all; they may also find it difficult to sponsor their family members.

The Department of Homeland and security is making a proposal that it would raise the bar for potential as well as existing immigrants. The announcement of the proposed rule was made on 22nd September.

The above proposal targets to raise the minimum requirement under existing law and it will also ensure that all who desire to come to or stay in the US must support themselves financially and they will not rely on public benefits.

Kiersten Nielsen, Secretary for Homeland Security stated “Public Charge” rule basically further clarifies what existed under a “long-standing federal law” that all those who desire to immigrate to the US must showcase that they will be able to support themselves.

Nielsen has offered nearing to 60- day window so that public comments can pour in. The major intention of this proposed rule is to ensure there exist self-sufficiency and it also wants to protect the finite resources and make sure both existing as well as potential immigrants do not become the burden on American taxpayers.

The proposed rule from the Trump administration would make it hard for all legal immigrants get access to the government assistance even temporarily.

Definition of public charge as per the newly proposed rule is a person who tends to receive specific public benefits above a certain defined threshold amount or for a longer period of time than a specific period.

If the above rule comes into effect, it will affect a large number of Indian applicants both inside as well as outside the US. Each year nearing to 380,000 people qualify for family-based adjustment for green card status and more than 500,000 people each year are eligible for extensions as well as changes of temporary visas within the US. If you fall under this category, this new standard would definitely apply to you.

For H-1B visas, the largest recipients and applicants are Indians, the above changes would affect this segment most.

By redefining the public benefits, it could separate, hundreds of thousands of married couples. The public charge rule, if it comes into effect, it will prevent more than half of all foreign-born spouses of US citizens attaining green cards.

The new DHS “public charge” rule will however create an entirely new set of financial requirements for the foreign national spouse, demanding an annual household income as high as 250% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (for Couples without children, $41,150 and for a family of five $73,550)

If the above requirement is strictly followed, the DHS could start denying nearing to half of all marriage green card applicants. Thus each year, forcing nearing to 200,000 couples either leave the US together or live apart indefinitely. The existing law already prevents the use of numerous public benefits, only after 10 years they would get green card. The above move is a step towards finding a solution to the problem.

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