Briefcase: Immigration – Changes to Public Charge Rule

Guest: Daniel Morales


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Since 1882, the United States has the power to deny entry to immigrants who are likely to become public charges, meaning those completely dependent on the state. In 2019, a new definition of public charge goes into effect. Daniel Morales, with The University of Houston Law Center, is an immigration scholar and explains what is going to change.

"Going forward, this rule will affect immigrants who utilize public health care, nutrition or housing assistance programs for themselves or their families and at any time while they are living in the U.S." Professor Morales said.

Morales said the proposed change will have an impact on children of immigrants. "Their parents are already on high alert," he said. "Even though their children are U.S. citizens, many low-income immigrants will not seek necessary services for their citizen children for fear of losing their own ability to become citizens. As a result, a segment of the next generation of Americans will suffer."

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