We have been closely tracking the new Public Charge Rule that was initially set to take effect on October 15, 2019. January 27, 2020 marked another important development as the U.S. Supreme Court issued a 5-4 decision to stay the current nationwide injunction of the rule. With that, the Trump administration can now move forward with enforcing a rule that will greatly expand the ability for immigration officials to deny entry or legal status to individuals that have accepted public benefits.
As outlined in our previous posts*, the history surrounding the rule has had many twists, turns and uncertainties. The key initial development occurred in August 2019 when the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a final rule on inadmissibility based on public charge grounds. The new rule set out to drastically expand the definition of “public charge” and integrate a wider range of public benefit programs that could lead to public charge concerns and ultimately a determination of inadmissibility.