Proposed Expansion of Inadmissibility

The Expansion of the Inadmissibility Rule

The Trump administration is proposing an expansion of the Public Charge ground of Inadmissibility, which considers whether an intending immigrant is likely to be reliant on public benefit programs when immigrating to the United States. While cash welfare assistance has already been used for such matters since the Clinton administration, the Trump administration has proposed to also include non-cash based assistance in the calculus. These are, namely, WIC and SNAP benefits as well as Medicaid, used by more than a fifth of the U.S. population. According to the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), there could be nearly a 15-fold increase in immigrants whose eligibility for permanent residency could be less certain. According to the American Immigration Lawyers Association, this proposal is punitive, even towards immigrants who claim tax credits.

This new rule is expected any day now according to Bloomberg’s Victoria Pelham. Sara Rosenbaum, former chair of a congressional Medicaid policy advisory group and a health policy professor at George Washington University, told Bloomberg that she expects this administration to use this rule to leverage support during the upcoming midterm elections.

The Downstream Effects

The rule is most concerning because of the real effects it will have on immigrants’ health, particularly children's. The MPI expects that, just as in the 1990s during welfare reform, the proposed rule will discourage millions of immigrants from seeking the services that they need.

Families are already foregoing enrollment in programs. Experts warn this could have downstream health effects on this young generation of immigrants if they don’t receive the nutritional aid of programs like WIC while young and growing. Likewise, families will not end their need for medical care as they choose not to renew or disenroll from Medicaid. Instead, there will be an increase in time between doctor visits and likely an increase in emergency care reliance. According to Bloomberg, Rosenbaum says the effects on our healthcare infrastructure will be “incalculable.”

Indeed, as MPI explains, these proposed changes will harm those already most vulnerable.

For More Information

Read the draft of the proposed Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds rule.

This blog post does not serve as legal advice and does not establish any client-attorney privilege. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact our legal team directly.

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This information comes from a news release from the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA Doc. No. 18020918) and from Victoria Pelham, “Generation of Sicker Kids Feared Under Immigration Proposal,” Bloomberg BNS, 30 Aug. 2018, accessed 6 Sept. 2018.

Categories: Immigration News