Immigrants who use Medicaid may be unable to obtain green cards under new rule 

The Trump administration issued a final rule Aug. 12 that will prevent immigrants who have used federal benefits like food stamps and Medicaid from becoming permanent residents.

The final rule was issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. It expands the definition of "public charge" under immigration law. Migrants are already required to prove they are self-sufficient, or not a "public charge," to obtain a green card.   

The new rule will consider a person a public charge if they use certain federal benefits for 12 months or more in any 36-month period. The rule totals benefits used in aggregate, so if a person uses food stamps and Medicaid for one month, it counts as two months. Most forms of Medicaid will be counted toward this total, except for Medicaid used by pregnant women, children and adults under age 21, and Medicaid for emergencies or school-based services. 

The rule also gives the Trump administration latitude to bar people "if they are found likely to become public charges," according to a press release from the White House. 

The rule is available here


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