WASHINGTON, April 26, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — In response to a request for public input on how the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) should apply the public charge ground of inadmissibility, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) submitted a comment yesterday.
“Public charge restrictions have been around for over a century and the principle that immigrants be self-sufficient predates our Republic,” said Dan Stein, president of FAIR. “Immigrants must not depend on taxpayer-funded public benefits to meet their needs.”
“Congress has acted to ensure that immigrants rely on their own capabilities and the resources of their families, sponsors, and private organizations, and that the availability of public benefits not create an incentive for immigration to the United States,” Stein noted. “Indeed, as recently as 1996, Congress clearly declared that self-sufficiency has been a basic principle of United States immigration law since this country’s earliest immigration statutes and that it should continue to be a governing principle in the United States.”
In a sternly-worded, thorough public comment, FAIR recommends that DHS reform the Public Charge Ground of Inadmissibility rule to require U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officers to consider all means-tested public benefits provided by Federal, State, Tribal, territorial, and local government agencies when evaluating whether an alien is likely to become a public charge. DHS should further strengthen the rule by:
- Requiring officers to consider an alien’s receipt of public benefits regardless of the alien’s immigration status;
- Requiring officers to include the receipt of benefits by an alien’s dependents;
- Placing weight on factors, such as education and income levels, that are proven to be reliable indicators of an alien’s likelihood of becoming a public charge;
- Ensuring officers have no administrative incentives to issue positive or negative public charge determinations;
- Ensuring the submission of sufficient affidavits of financial support; and
- Applying public charge requirements to extension of stay and change of status requests.
“These changes will not only strengthen the integrity of our immigration system and ensure that immigrants are self-sufficient, but protect taxpayers and vulnerable Americans who depend on the availability of safety-net public benefits,” Stein concluded.
Contact: Preston Huennekens, 202-328-7004 or [email protected].
Founded in 1979, FAIR is the country’s largest immigration reform group. With over 3 million members and supporters nationwide, FAIR fights for immigration policies that serve national interests, not special interests. FAIR believes that immigration reform must enhance national security, improve the economy, protect jobs, preserve our environment, and establish a rule of law that is recognized and enforced.
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SOURCE Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)