Proposed changes to green card application processes have created concerns among legal immigrants living and working in the U.S. A proposal by the Trump administration could potentially prevent immigrants who use public services from qualifying for lawful permanent residence. This has created situations in which individuals who are legally entitled to Medicaid, Medicare, Section 8 housing, supplemental nutritional assistance and other support programs are unwilling to use these services because of fears that they will lose eligibility for permanent residency status.
Fears of Deportation
Although these proposed changes have not yet been implemented, many families are attempting to remove themselves from these safety-net systems to prevent the possibility of denial or revocation of their green cards and deportation from the United States. In some cases, people have failed to obtain necessary medical care because of worries about the proposed regulatory changes and the potential effects on their pending applications for green cards.
The Risks of Being Labeled a Public Charge
Under current policies implemented and enforced by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, immigrants can be denied status as a lawful permanent resident if they are deemed to be at risk of becoming a public charge and a drain on government resources. This has previously been applied to only four types of public financial support:
- General assistance
- Supplemental Security Income
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
- Long-term institutionalization in a mental health facility or a nursing home
The changes proposed by the Trump administration would add a number of other benefits to the list:
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
- Section 8 vouchers and project-based rental assistance
- Public housing programs
- Medicare Part D
- Non-emergency Medicaid services
Families and individuals who accept these services could be increasing their risk of being viewed as a public charge and denied the right to remain in the United States legally.
Seeking Expert Legal Help
For many families, retaining the services of a Miami immigration lawyer can provide a measure of peace of mind regarding their green card applications and their application for lawful permanent residency in the U.S. The services offered by your Miami immigration lawyer can streamline the visa application process and can ensure the most positive outcomes possible for your case.
If you need the help of an experienced Miami immigration lawyer, Pozo Goldstein can help. We offer comprehensive services for immigrants seeking visas or citizenship in the United States. Give us a call today at 305-856-0400 to schedule a free consultation. We look forward to the chance to serve you and your family.