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“P” Day: The Day That Immigration Will Change

Tahmina Watson Immigration law updateAs a practitioner, it has been hard to keep up with all the rules and policies changing on the immigration front. The onslaught of rules, that this administration is using to bypass Congress, has been exhausting, challenging and downright upsetting.  But of all rules, the Public Charge rule will make the biggest impact on immigration policies because the reach is so broad and essentially designed to deny immigration benefits.  Read my recent blog post “The Perils Of Public Charge.”

While the administration said they want to stop those receiving public benefits from getting green cards, the information that they will seek is outrageously broad, cumbersome and will be difficult to obtain for some.  For example, the govt. will be looking at applicants’ ages, education, skills, assets, debts and also credit reports. There hasn’t been a lot of guidance on how this information will be assessed. Will someone age 50 be automatically considered at risk of seeking public benefits ‘any time’ in their life?  Will children face the same scrutiny? Who is the safest demographic in this adjudication process? White, rich and maybe in their mid-20’s to 35′? I really don’t know.

The employment-based temporary work visa application forms will also ask if the foreign worker has received any public benefits. Even if the answer will be ‘no’ for almost everyone, I anticipate the administration to find ways to scrutinize all cases, on top of the usual scrutiny we have been enduring.  And, as such, even these cases are likely not going to be as easy anymore.

Our law firm has been working aorund the clock for the last few weeks to ensure all our clients who are able to file cases, whether family-based, or employment-based, have their cases filed. We go into the weekend exhausted but relieved that at least this group of people will avoid the public charge nightmare that awaits ahead. But next week, on Tuesday, that I am dubbing “P-Day”, will be the beginning of a new era and likely a whole lot of heartbreak for people.


Given the enormity of the impact, our firm will be attending some community events in the near future to present on how public charge will affect people. We will post some of these events as they come up, so keep an eye out if you are interested in attending or arranging something. You know where to find us if you have questions-


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