The National Housing Law Project (NHLP) has prepared a fact sheet describing changes proposed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that would add public housing, housing vouchers, and project-based rental assistance to the “public charge” regulations. Noncitizens seeking admission to the U.S., applying for lawful permanent resident status (green card), or seeking an extension of or changes to their non-immigrant status are subject to a review to determine whether they are, or might become, a public charge – someone likely to become primarily dependent on the government for subsistence.
NHLP’s fact sheet explains what a public charge is, how a public charge determination is made, who would be affected by the rule, how the use of housing benefits would be evaluated when dealing with mixed-status households that have some members who are citizens, and the effects on other housing and homeless assistance programs.
Currently, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) considers only non-cash assistance, such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), in the determination of public charge. In addition to expanding the definition to include the three HUD programs, DHS is proposing to add the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, or food stamps), non-emergency Medicaid, the Medicare Part D Low Income Subsidy, and institutionalization for long-term care at government expense (see Memo, 10/1). DHS is also considering adding the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to the list.
The NHLP fact sheet is at: https://bit.ly/2IECGno
The Protecting Immigrant Families (PIF) “Advancing our Future Campaign,” co-chaired by the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) and the National Immigration Law Center (NILC), has additional information at: https://bit.ly/2OgCLTm