Objections to Trump’s new immigration rule wildly exaggerated | TheHill – The Hill

On Aug. 14, 2019, President Donald Trump promulgated federal regulations which provide additional guidance for determining whether an alien applying for admission to the United States or adjustment of status is inadmissible because he is likely to become a public charge.

The announcement produced a firestorm of bizarre, emotionally charged warnings about what Trump is trying to do.

The people making these claims must not be aware of the fact that Congress made the likelihood of becoming a public charge an exclusion ground more than a century ago — Trump had nothing to do with it.

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The furor

Rep. Norma TorresNorma Judith TorresThe 11 House Dems from Trump districts who support assault weapons ban Trump critics decry ‘choke-hold diplomacy’ in Central America It’s time to give 9-1-1 professionals the respect they deserve MORE (D-Calif.) claims that Trump is targeting people of color and punishing them for needing assistance to make ends meet.

According to Charles Wheeler, Director of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network Inc., “The Trump administration is trying to bypass Congress and implement its own merit based-immigration system. It’s really a backdoor way of prohibiting low-income people from immigrating.”

Marielena Hincapié, Executive Director of the National Immigration Law Center (NILC), says that the new rule “is a cruel new step toward weaponizing programs that are intended to help people by making them, instead, a means of separating families and sending immigrants and communities of color one message: You are not welcome here.”

And House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiObjections to Trump’s new immigration rule wildly exaggerated Latest pro-democracy rally draws tens of thousands in Hong Kong Lewandowski on potential NH Senate run: If I run, ‘I’m going to win’ MORE (D-Calif.) tweeted, “This hateful, bigoted rule is a direct assault on our nation’s proud heritage as a beacon of hope and opportunity for all and a clear attempt to demonize and terrorize the newcomers who make America more American.”

The truth: ‘public charge’ exclusion is nothing new

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The ground for exclusion was established in 1882 by America’s first general immigration law, An Act to Regulate Immigration. It excluded any immigrant seeking admission to the United States who was found to be “unable to take care of himself or herself without becoming a public charge.”

From the beginning, immigrants were expected to be able to take care of themselves without public assistance.

Congress reaffirmed this policy in 1952 with section 212(a)(15) of the McCarren-Walter Act, which required the exclusion of “Aliens who … in the opinion of the Attorney General at the time of application for admission, are likely at any time to become public charge.”

Congress has continued to promote this policy. For instance, in a 1996 national policy statement Congress explained that — 

(1) Self-sufficiency has been a basic principle of United States immigration law since this country’s earliest immigration statutes.

(2) It continues to be the immigration policy of the United States that —

(A) aliens within the Nation’s borders not depend on public resources to meet their needs, but rather rely on their own capabilities and the resources of their families, their sponsors, and private organizations, and

(B) The availability of public benefits not constitute an incentive for immigration to the United States.

The current public charge exclusion provision is set forth in section 212(a)(4)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), which provides that, “Any alien who … in the opinion of the Attorney General at the time of application for admission or adjustment of status, is likely at any time to become a public charge is inadmissible.” This does not apply to asylees, refugees, and other designated vulnerable populations.

The acting USCIS director, Ken Cuccinelli, said at a recent White House briefing that, “Through the public charge rule, President TrumpDonald John TrumpO’Rourke: Trump driving global, U.S. economy into recession Manchin: Trump has ‘golden opportunity’ on gun reforms Objections to Trump’s new immigration rule wildly exaggerated MORE’s administration is reinforcing the ideals of self-sufficiency and personal responsibility, ensuring that immigrants are able to support themselves and become successful here in America.”

The new rule

Trump’s rule amends existing DHS public charge regulations to include an alien’s reliance on or receipt of the most common forms of modern public assistance: non-cash benefits such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or food stamps; Medicaid; and housing vouchers and other housing subsidies that previously were not considered in making a public charge determination.

It redefines the term “public charge” to mean “an alien who receives one or more designated public benefits for more than 12 months in the aggregate within any 36-month period (such that, for instance, receipt of two benefits in one month counts as two months).”

It also provides a list of negative and positive factors that should be considered, including some that are heavily weighted. The presence of a single positive or negative factor, however, is never dispositive. The determination must be based on the totality of the circumstances presented in an applicant’s case.

Most of the aliens subject to the exclusion ground are coming here to join American family members. Their families can help them to avoid being excluded as likely to become a public charge by signing an Affidavit of Support, which would make them legally responsible for financially supporting the sponsored immigrants.

Legal challenges to these regulations may prevail with an argument that some of the changes are substantive and therefore go beyond Trump’s authority to “implement” the statutory provisions, but I don’t think that would satisfy the people who are complaining about the public charge exclusion ground.

They want to eliminate it, not ensure that it is implemented properly. If they succeed, it would clear the way for the admission of immigrants who are not going to be able to support themselves.

That would contradict more than 100 years of United States immigration policy and could hurt American tax payers by making it necessary for them to pay more in taxes to provide the public assistance these immigrants would need.

Nolan Rappaport was detailed to the House Judiciary Committee as an executive branch immigration law expert for three years. He subsequently served as an immigration counsel for the Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims for four years. Prior to working on the Judiciary Committee, he wrote decisions for the Board of Immigration Appeals for 20 years.  Follow him on Twitter @NolanR1

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Update to I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status; New Edition Dated 07/15/19.

Use this form to apply for lawful permanent resident status if you are in the United States.

Number of Pages

Form 18; instructions 43

Edition Date

07/15/19. We will also accept the 12/13/17 edition. You can find the edition date at the bottom of the page on the form and instructions.

Where to File

Filing Fee

You may pay the fee with a money order, personal check, or cashier’s check. When filing at a USCIS Lockbox facility, you may also pay by credit card using Form G-1450, Authorization for Credit Card Transactions. If you pay by check, you must make your check payable to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Service centers are not able to process credit card payments. 

When you send a payment, you agree to pay for a government service. Filing and biometric service fees are final and non-refundable, regardless of any action we take on your application, petition, or request, or if you withdraw your request. Use our Fee Calculator to help determine your fee.

Read our Paying USCIS Fees page for more details.

If You Are…

Form Fee

Biometric
Services Fee

Total

Under 14 and filing with the I-485
application of at least one parent

$750

$0

$750

Under 14 and not filing with the I-485 application of at least one parent

$1,140

$0

$1,140

Age 14 – 78

$1,140

$85

$1,225

Age 79 or older

$1,140

$0

$1,140

Filing Form I-485 based on having been admitted to the United States as a refugee

$0

$0

$0

Checklist of Required Initial Evidence (for informational purposes only)

View the checklist of required initial evidence.

Special Instructions

If you are seeking to adjust status under the provisions of section 245(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, refer to Supplement A for additional instructions. 

Filing I-485 Supplement J

If you are filing Form I-485 together with a Form I-140 that names you as the principal beneficiary, you do not need to file Supplement J.

However, you must file Supplement J if you are filing Form I-485 based on a previously filed Form I-140 or if you are requesting job portability to a new, permanent job offer under INA section 204(j). Go to the Form I-485, Supplement J page for specific instructions on when and how to file Supplement J.

Filing Forms I-765 and I-131 with Form I-485

If you are filing Form I-485 and pay the required fee (or already filed Form I-485 and paid the required fee on or after July 30, 2007), you do not have to pay an additional fee to also file a Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization and/or Form I-131, Application for Travel Document for advance parole. You may file these forms together. If you choose not to file Form I-765 and/or Form I-131 with your Form I-485, then you must submit a copy of your I-797C, Notice of Action, receipt as evidence that you filed a Form I-485.

If you filed your Form I-485 before July 30, 2007, you must pay the fees associated with Forms I-765 and/or I-131 when you file them.

Which Box to Check in Part 2 of Form I-485

Before filing a Form I-485 based on a family-sponsored or employment-based preference category, check the USCIS webpage about the Visa Bulletin to see if your priority date makes you eligible to apply. If your priority date makes you eligible to apply, then:

  • If you are the principal applicant, check the appropriate box in Part 2, Item Numbers 1.a. through 1.g. of Form I 485.
  • If you are the derivative spouse or child of the principal applicant, check the appropriate box in Part 2, Item Numbers 1.a. through 1.g. of Form I 485 and complete Part 2, Item Numbers 5.a. through 9.

For more information on the Visa Bulletin or the charts, please go to the Visa Availability and Priority Dates page and the Adjustment of Status Filing Charts from the Visa Bulletin page.

Premium Processing

You may file Form I-485 and Form I-140 together at the USCIS Dallas Lockbox facility.

If you are requesting premium processing for Form I-140, you must also file Form I 907, Request for Premium Processing Service. Refer to the Direct Filing Addresses for Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker if you want to file Forms I-485, I-140, and I 907 together. Do NOT file Form I-907 at a USCIS Lockbox facility.

If you are filing Form I-485 based on a pending or approved Form I-140, go to the Direct Filing Addresses for Form I-485 page to see where to file your application. 

Read the Employment-Based Preferences chart in the Department of State’s Visa Bulletin to ensure your priority date is current before you file your application.

Related Links

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Update to Form I-485 Supplement A, Adjustment of Status Under Section 245(i); New Edition Dated 07/15/19.

Use this form to provide USCIS with additional information if you are seeking to adjust status under section 245(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Number of Pages

Form 4; instructions 11.

Edition Date

07/15/19. We will also accept the 12/13/17 edition. You can find the edition date at the bottom of the page on the form and instructions.

Where to File

Filing Fee

$1,000. This fee is in addition to the fee required for your Form I-485. If you have filed Form I-485 separately, attach a copy of your filing receipt and pay only the additional fee of $1,000.

You may pay the fee with a money order, personal check, or cashier’s check. When filing at a USCIS Lockbox facility, you may also pay by credit card using Form G-1450, Authorization for Credit Card Transactions. If you pay by check, you must make your check payable to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Service centers are not able to process credit card payments.

When you send a payment, you agree to pay for a government service. Filing and biometric service fees are final and non-refundable, regardless of any action we take on your application, petition, or request, or if you withdraw your request. Use our Fee Calculator to help determine your fee.

There is no fee if you are:

  • An unmarried child under 17 years of age, or
  • The spouse or the unmarried child under 21 years of age of a legalized alien and you are qualified for and have applied for voluntary departure under the family unity program.

Read our Paying USCIS Fees page for more details.

Related Links

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Update to Form I-485 Supplement J, Confirmation of Bona Fide Job Offer or Request for Job Portability Under INA Section 204(j); New Edition Dated 07/15/19.

Number of Pages

Form 7; instructions 8

Edition Date

07/15/19. We will also accept the 12/13/17 edition. You can find the edition date at the bottom of the page on the form and instructions.

Where to File

If you are filing a Form I-485 without the Form I-140, or if you are requesting job portability based on a Form I-485 that has been pending with USCIS for 180 days or more, file Supplement J at the filing address for your Form I 485. Review the Direct Filing Addresses for Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status page to determine where to file your form, and see the Special Instructions section of this page for information about when to file Supplement J.

If we sent you a Request for Evidence (RFE) or a Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) requesting that you file Supplement J, please submit it with your response to the RFE or NOID at the address specified.

Filing Fee

Special Instructions

When to File Supplement J

If you are filing Form I-485 together with a Form I-140 that names you as the principal beneficiary, you do not need to file Supplement J.

If you are filing Form I-485 based on a previously filed Form I-140, you must file Supplement J when:

  • You initially file your employment-based Form I-485 with USCIS; or
  • We send you a Request for Evidence (RFE) or a Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID).  

We may also request that you file Supplement J again before we make a final decision on your Form I-485.

If you are requesting job portability to a new, permanent job offer under INA section 204(j), you may file Supplement J only after:

  • You have properly filed a Form I-485 based on an approved or pending Form I-140 that names you as the principal beneficiary;
  • The Form I-485 has been pending with USCIS for 180 days or more since the receipt date; and
  • You have received:
    • A new, permanent job offer from a U.S. employer that is in the same or similar occupational classification as the job offered to you in the original Form I-140, and you would like to request that we use the new job offer when making a decision on your Form I-485; or
    • An RFE or a NOID from USCIS regarding your pending Form I-485 that asks for confirmation that the job offered to you in the Form I-140 or a previously filed Supplement J is still available to you; or
    • A NOID from USCIS regarding your Form I-485 because the petitioner has withdrawn the Form I-140 filed for you, or the petitioner of your Form I-140 has gone out of business.

Filing Tips

  • It is very important that you submit a completed Supplement J, especially including the beneficiary and the employer’s physical address. Submitting the form with incorrect addresses, such as using an attorney’s address instead of the employer’s physical address, or with missing information may result in us issuing you an RFE, which will delay the processing of your Form I-485.
  • Go to our Form Filing Tips page for information on how to help ensure that we will accept your application.

Track the Status of Your Supplement J

You will receive a receipt number when you file Supplement J. You can use this number to check the status of your form on our Case Status Online webpage.

You may call the USCIS Contact Center at 800-375-5283 for information on the status of your Supplement J under these circumstances:

If you filed Supplement J… You may contact the USCIS Contact Center…
Together with Form I-485 After the processing time shown on the USCIS Processing Time Information webpage has passed and you have not received a decision. You must provide the USCIS Contact Center with information from your Form I-485 receipt notice.
To request job portability After 120 days from the date shown on the Supplement J receipt notice.

VIBE

We may use Validation Instrument for Business Enterprises (VIBE) to validate the basic information about the companies or organizations listed on the Supplement J. For more information, please visit uscis.gov/vibe.

Related Links

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USCIS Returns Unselected Fiscal Year 2020 H-1B Cap-Subject Petitions

USCIS has returned all fiscal year (FY) 2020 H-1B cap-subject petitions that were not selected in our computer-generated random selection process. On May 17, USCIS announced that it had completed data entry of all selected H-1B cap-subject petitions for FY 2020.

If you submitted an FY 2020 H-1B cap-subject petition that was delivered to USCIS between April 1 and April 5, 2019, and you have not received a receipt notice or a returned petition by August 29, you may contact USCIS for assistance.

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