The Department of Justice is publishing a proposed rule in this issue of the Federal Register which proposes to establish clear standards governing a determination that an alien is inadmissible or ineligible to adjust status, or has become deportable, on public charge grounds.
Before the proposed rule becomes final, the Immigration and Naturalization Service is publishing its field guidance on public charge issues as an attachment to this notice. This is necessary to help alleviate public confusion over the meaning of the term ‘‘public charge’’ in immigration law and its relationship to the receipt of federal, state, and local public benefits. This field guidance will also provide aliens with better guidance as to the types of public benefits that will and will not be considered in public charge determinations.
Recent immigration and welfare reform laws have generated considerable public confusion about the relationship between the receipt of federal, state, and local public benefits and the meaning of ‘‘public charge’’ in immigration statutes governing deportation, admissibility, and adjustment of status. The Department decided to publish a proposed rule defining ‘‘public charge’’ in order to reduce the negative public health consequences generated by the existing confusion and to provide aliens with better guidance as to the types of public benefits that will and will not be considered in public charge determinations.
In addition, the Service has issued guidance to its field officers on a variety of issues related to public charge determinations. That field guidance is included as an attachment to this notice to provide additional information to the public on the Service’s implementation of the public charge provisions of the immigration laws.
See full Federal Register notice.