Given how topsy-turvey 2020 has been, it is perhaps not surprising that the public charge issue is far from over. Just this Monday, the district court in Cook County, Illinois, et al v. Wolf et al. ruled that the Public Charge Rule violated the Administrative Procedure Act, holding that the rule went beyond the agency’s authority and was arbitrary and capricious. As a result, it appears that DHS may not apply or enforce the public charge rule pending a further decision. Importantly, this ruling is to be applied nationwide. If the ruling survives, DHS is prohibited from requiring the I-944 as well as applying the new public charge rule, which as we previously covered is notoriously strict and dramatically different than the old standard.
Although the ruling is effective as of Monday, there is obviously much uncertainty as to how USCIS will implement the holding. As of this writing, USCIS has not issued any guidance on its website. It is strongly recommended that anyone intending on applying for adjustment of status consult with an attorney. USCIS indicated in its last guidance that applications not accompanied by the I-944 would be rejected, so it is extremely important to evaluate with an attorney how to go about filing.
The above is general information only. It is not specific legal advice nor intended to create an attorney client relationship. If you need advice, please consult with an attorney.