“Under the rule, a public charge is now defined as an individual who receives one or more designated public benefits for more than 12 months in the aggregate within any 36-month period.”
- Government assistance programs that protect children and pregnant women’s health are not considered public benefits.
- The rule will take effect starting on October 15th of this year. According to Cuccinelli, “immigration officers will consider an alien’s current and past receipt of the designated public benefits while in the United States as a negative factor when examining applications. However, receipt of certain non-cash benefits received before October 15 will not be considered as a negative factor.”
The “public-charge doctrine,” an attempt to prevent immigrants from becoming dependent on social services at the expense of taxpayers, has been part of U.S. immigration law for over a century. My organization, Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) believes this new ruling is a prudent way to ensure welfare benefits are preserved for the most vulnerable Americans.