On September 22, the Department of Homeland Security promulgated new rules regarding the public charge ground of inadmissibility that may have a tremendous impact on immigrants who have accepted public benefits. Under our immigration law, most applicants for permanent residence must demonstrate that they will not become a "public charge"-that is, someone who is likely to become "primarily dependent on the government for subsistence, as demonstrated by either the receipt of public cash assistance for income maintenance or institutionalization for long-term care at government expense." If the proposed rule is finalized without any alterations, the final rule will reach beyond cash assistance and long-term care to include health, nutrition, and housing programs as well. Some programs implicated include:
One of the more pressing concerns that individuals who file for their parents' permanent residence have is whether their aging parents will qualify for medical assistance from the government. As we all know, the cost of health care in this country is astronomical, and only rising. One thing that newly arrived elderly immigrants and their families should be aware of is their potential eligibility for Medicare.