Public Charge Inadmissibility
The Public Charge inadmissibility may become more common. Reuters reports that currently there is a draft circulating in the Department of Homeland Security that would require immigration officials to look more carefully at what kind of public assistance an applicant or applicant’s dependents, even if they are U.S. citizens, are receiving from the U.S. government. “Public Charge” guidelines have been in place since 1999, but have been applied to a very narrow range of government benefits mostly in form of direct cash assistance. Under the proposed new rules even non-cash government assistance such as food aid programs or pre-school programs could lead to an applicant being deemed a “public charge” and thus subject to grounds of inadmissibility.