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Using Food Stamps and Other Benefits Cause To Deny Green Cards | Mario Godoy | Chicago Immigration Lawyer

Chicago Judge Blocks Immigration Public Benefits Rule

On Monday, November 2 Chicago U.S. District Judge Gary Feinerman rejected and blocked a Trump administration rule that would deny Green Cards to immigrants who use food stamps and other public benefits. The ruling applies nationwide. The decision was in response to a Chicago lawsuit filed in September 2019 by the Illinois Coalition of Immigrant and Refugee Rights and Cook County. The public benefits rule was widely viewed as part of the Trump administration’s efforts to limit legal immigration, including Green Cards. The Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds Final Rule, also known as the public benefits or public charge rule, would have allowed immigration officers to deny immigrants the opportunity to obtain a Green Card based on whether the person is likely to use public benefits – not whether they actually do use public benefits including food stamps, medicare, housing assistance and other benefits.

U.S. Immigration and Citizenship Services (USCIS) has stopped applying the rule to pending immigration applications and petitions. USCIS agency spokesman Dan Hetlage said in a statement issued Monday evening,

“USCIS will fully comply with the decision and issue additional forthcoming guidance while the agency reviews the decision.” 

Public Benefits Rule Timeline

First put into effect September 22, 2018, the Green Card public benefits rule was deemed a “wealth test” and appealed in lawsuits by immigration advocates and was temporarily blocked:

• Appealed in a lawsuit filed in September 2019 by the Illinois Coalition of Immigrant and Refugee Rights and Cook County.

• The U.S. Supreme Court decided in a 5-4 vote in January 2020 that the rule could take effect, but enforcement was stopped by a federal judge in New York due to the coronavirus pandemic.

• On September 11, 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York granted a full stay of the injunction.

• The Department of Human Services (DHS) announced on September 22, 2020, that it was resuming implementing the Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds Final Rule nationwide.

If the government appeals the ruling to the Supreme Court, newly appointed Supreme Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett will have to recuse herself as she was the dissenting vote in June’s 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling of Judge Feinerman blocked enforcement of the rule in Illinois.

Contact an Experienced Immigration Attorney Today

Mario Godoy and the experienced immigration attorneys at Godoy Law Office can assess your situation and immigration application status. With experience in many different types of immigration cases and an understanding of the impact of new immigration regulations, it can be beneficial for you to contact an immigration lawyer today. Please call us at 855-554-6369.  

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