If you’re like most green card-holders, you consider your legal status as protection against deportation – but new guidelines implemented by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services could change that. As Milwaukee immigration attorneys, we understand that there are many questions about these new guidelines, so here’s a quick explanation.
The New Guidelines from USCIS
Under the new guidelines, green card-holders who abuse “any program related to the reception of public benefits” can be called into immigration court. If there’s any evidence of “fraud or willful misrepresentation” connected to “any official matter or application before another governmental agency,” you could be subject to removal proceedings.
The new guidelines complement an executive order, “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States.”
The main benefits that people with green cards receive are typically:
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP
- Supplemental Security Income
- Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP
The Homeland Security Department has proposed a rule that blocks documented immigrants from obtaining residence if they receive public assistance, including any of those types listed above. In the DHS draft, the agency says, “An alien’s receipt of public benefits comes at taxpayer expense and availability of public benefits may provide an incentive for aliens to immigrate to the United States.”
Under the guidelines, aliens are considered a priority if they:
- Have been convicted of any criminal offense
- Have been charged with any criminal offense that hasn’t been resolved
- Have committed acts that constitute a chargeable criminal offense
- Have engaged in fraud or willful misrepresentation in connection with any official matter or application before a governmental agency
- Have abused any program related to the receipt of public benefits
- Are subject to a final order of removal but haven’t left yet
- Pose a risk to public safety or national security
The number of documented immigrants this guidance is expected to affect is small, however.
You may also find these resources helpful:
- What Immigration Forms Do You Need in the U.S.?
- Can Someone Report You to Immigration and Customs Enforcement?
- Hiring an Immigration Lawyer
Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About Immigration?
If you’re thinking about immigrating to the United States, we may be able to help you pursue it. Call us to schedule a consultation with a Milwaukee immigration attorney at 414-383-6700 today.