How New Proposed ‘Public Charge’ Rule Could Impact Your Residents

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Discover which immigrant tenants may be subject to tougher parameters

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is proposing a rule that may discourage immigrants from seeking out or receiving public housing and Section 8 rental assistance. The rule aims to widen the definition of a “public charge,” and the changes could alter how you handle certain housing applicants. Here’s what you need to know.

What the Proposed Rule Says

DHS first published the draft proposed rule on its website on Sept. 22, and then in the Federal Register on Oct. 5. The rule would change the way DHS determines whether an immigrant is likely to become a “public charge,” according to a National Housing Law Project (NHLP) fact sheet.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) considers a noncitizen a public charge if the person is likely to become primarily dependent on the government for subsistence --- which also means the person can be deemed inadmissible or denied a green card.

Impact: If the rule passes, it would depart from longstanding immigration policy by widening the net for deeming certain immigrants public charges because they’ve received, currently receive, or could receive certain types of public benefits --- including assisted housing, the NHLP stated.

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