By Attorney Chris Caday Lozano
In an attempt to limit legal immigration, the Trump Administration again will make it hard for immigrants to enter the United States. The Department of Homeland Security has proposed a rule that would make it much more difficult for U.S. citizens and legal immigrants—especially those experiencing financial hardship—to sponsor family members for green cards.
If the rule goes into effect, the process of family-based immigration will become even more cumbersome and restrictive.
The proposed rule—published in the Federal Register on October 2—relates to the “affidavit of support.” Under a 1996 immigration reform law, anyone wanting to sponsor a family member for a green card must complete an affidavit of support demonstrating that the sponsored immigrant will not become dependent on federal public benefits.
Under the new proposed rule, sponsors would have to submit extensive financial documentation to the federal government as part of filing the affidavit of support. This includes tax returns, credit reports, credit scores, and bank account information.
The federal government bills this new rule as a means of saving U.S. taxpayer dollars by keeping immigrants out of federal public benefit programs. But the reality is that most non-citizens aren’t eligible for most public benefits to begin with.
Current law already requires the sponsor to provide financial support, if necessary, to maintain the sponsored immigrant’s income at a minimum of 125% of the federal poverty line. The sponsor must also reimburse the federal government for any means-tested public benefits the immigrant uses while the affidavit of support is in effect.
Under the new proposed rule, a sponsor also would have to find a “co-sponsor” if they used any amount of federal or state means-tested public benefits during the previous three years—regardless of their actual income at the present time.
The proposed rule only has a 30-day comment period that closes on November 2.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services maintains that the new rule “protects American taxpayers” by ensuring that immigrants “applying for permanent benefits don’t rely on public resources.”
In reality, most green card holders are ineligible for federal means-tested public benefits until they’ve been permanent residents of the United States for five years. The new rule is being justified based on a largely nonexistent situation.
The new rule would also punish Americans who have lower incomes or who have had any financial difficulties in the past three years. This could compound the suffering of millions of Americans who have experienced financial hardship during the coronavirus pandemic by making it harder for them to bring their loved ones to this country.
Note: This is not a legal advice.
- For the month of September 2020, we received three naturalization approvals, four I-130 petition approvals and one DACA approval.
- For the month of August 2020, we received three renewal of green card and four naturalization approvals from USCIS.
- For the month of July 2020, we received two approvals of Naturalization applications from USCIS.
- For the month of June 2020, we received approvals from USCIS two naturalization applications, two renewal of green card and one adjustment of status.
- For the month of May 2020, we received approvals from USCIS for three green card renewals, two adjustment of status, and one naturalization application.
- For the month of April 2020. we received approval of one adjustment of status, three removal of condition on residence and one renewal of green card.
- For the month of March 2020, we received six Adjustment of Status and three Naturalization approvals from USCIS.
- For the month of February 2020, we received approvals from USCIS of five Adjustment of Status application andthree Naturalization application.
- For the month of January 2020, we received approvals from USCIS of five Adjustment of status applications,three N-400 applications for naturalization and three fiancé visa application.
- For the month of December 2019, we received four approvals of naturalization applications, five approvals of Adjustment of Status applications, two approvals of Petition to remove condition on residence, one renewal of green card approval and one green card application at the U.S. Embassy.
- For the month of November 2019, we received approvals of one naturalization application, one renewal of green card, one Petition to remove condition on residence and one adjustment of status.
- For the month of October 2019, we received five naturalization application approvals and two renewal of green card and one DACA approval.
If you have immigration problems the Law Offices of Crispin C. Lozano can help you find a solution before your problem gets worse which could lead to deportation and family separation.
Chris Caday Lozano, Esq. is an active member of the State Bar of California, the American Immigration Lawyers Association and San Francisco Trial Lawyers. He practices immigration law, bankruptcy and personal injury law since June 1999. His contact phone is 1-877-456-9266, email: info@CCLlaw.net Chris Caday Lozano is currently running as Councilmember for Hayward City Council for November 3, 2020 election. Please vote to send FilAm representative to Hayward, CA for the first time in history.