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- After three federal judges blocked the “public charge” measure, affected immigrants fear they will not give up social assistance if this could later cost them residence.
- The implementation of the rule that was to take effect on Tuesday would have directly affected about 1.2 million annual applicants for permanent residence.
- A policy advisor from the American Immigration Lawyers Association qualifies the measure as an invisible wall of the Trump administration.
After three judges blocked last week a measure on “public charge” that entered into force on Tuesday, some affected immigrants do not know if they should give up aid that could make them in the future ineligible for permanent residence or citizenship.
The news that federal judges in the states of California, New York and Washington ordered last Friday to block the measure, which would make the beneficiaries of certain social programs ineligible for permanent residence, left the thousands of possible victims affected, he said. EFE agency.
"I should feel happy, but this is like a torture that lengthens and it is not known when it will end," a Los Angeles resident who identified herself as Maria and who receives public help for her 12-year-old undocumented daughter told Efe .
Both arrived in Los Angeles from Guatemala in 2011 irregularly, seeking help for the little girl who suffers from epilepsy.
The girl has received treatment and is currently covered by medical insurance with state and federal funds for low-income people (MediCal), which also protects undocumented children in California.
“My girl needs treatment and my salary is not enough to cover medicines and medical appointments, or buy private insurance,” says Maria, who works at a cleaning company.
Her husband, a Mexican with permanent residence, wants to legalize them but possibly the “public charge” rule would make them ineligible.
“He tells me to take the girl out for a few days of medical treatment while we start the papers so that I can have my work permit and get something better, but I am not able,” he says between sobs.
Maria also complains about the misinformation that exists. The rule would supposedly take effect Tuesday.
“No one has really told us if they would punish us; the hospital social worker told us no, but you don't know who to trust anymore, ”he confessed.
According to Nancy Flores, deputy director of the National Alliance for New Americans (NPNA), the problem of Maria and many other low-income undocumented immigrants who seek legalization is that the rule “also analyzes the assets / liabilities of the full economic image of migrants "
According to the Immigration and Citizenship Service (USCIS), "inadmissibility based on public charge is determined by all circumstances."
This means that an official must weigh the positive and negative factors to determine if someone will become a “public charge,” explains Flores.
At a minimum, a USCIS officer must consider several factors, including: age, health, family status, assets, resources, financial status, education and skills of the migrant.
In listing these requirements, Maria only manages to say that "then it is better to run out of papers."
Jason Boyd, policy advisor for the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), describes the measure as an invisible wall of the Trump administration.
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Filed as: Public charge measure