Homeland Security Posts Draft Rule on “Public Charge”

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) posted the “public charge” notice of proposed rulemaking in the Special Filings section of the October 5 Federal Register Public Inspection page. 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. The Trump administration is proposing to expand the definition of public charge to include some forms of assisted housing, among other benefits.

The proposed rule is scheduled to be formally published in the Federal Register on October 10. The Protecting Immigrant Families (PIF) Campaign (see Memo, 10/1) indicates that there do not appear to be any changes to the regulatory text from what was posted on the DHS website on September 22. PIF notes, however, that they have not yet carefully reviewed the preamble language of the 434-page draft. PIF is continuing to review the posted draft and will identify any changes.

PIF will be launching an updated website (https://www.protectingimmigrantfamilies.org/) on October 10 that will contain resources to help advocates understand and talk about changes to public charge policy. The website will also serve as a hub to drive unique comments to Regulations.gov. PIF will enable advocates to submit comments through a comment form available on the website. PIF also intends to provide a comprehensive social media toolkit to help advocates share their comments, broadly.