WASHINGTON, April 26, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — In response to a request for public input on how the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) should apply the ground of inadmissibility of public charge, the American Federation for Immigration Reform (FAIR) submitted a comment yesterday.
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“Restrictions on public office have existed for more than a century and the principle that immigrants should be self-sufficient predates our Republic,” said Dan Stein, president of FAIR. “Immigrants should not depend on taxpayer-funded public benefits to meet their needs.”
“Congress has acted to ensure that immigrants rely on their own abilities and the resources of their families, sponsors, and private organizations, and that the availability of public benefits does not create an incentive to immigrate for United States“, noted Stein. “Indeed, as recently as 1996, Congress clearly declared that self-sufficiency was a fundamental principle of United States immigration law since the first immigration laws of this country and that it should continue to be a guiding principle in United States.”
In a thorough and severe public commentary, FAIR recommends that DHS reform the Public charge reason for inadmissibility rule to require United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officers to consider all means-tested public benefits provided by federal, state, tribal, territorial, and local government agencies when evaluating whether a foreigner is likely to become a public charge. DHS should further strengthen the rule by:
- Require officers to consider a foreigner’s receipt of public benefits, regardless of the foreigner’s immigration status;
- Require officers to include the receipt of benefits by a foreigner’s dependents;
- Giving importance to factors, such as education and income levels, which have proven to be reliable indicators of a foreigner’s likelihood of becoming a public charge;
- Ensure that officers have no administrative incentive to issue affirmative or negative public charge determinations;
- Ensure the submission of sufficient certificates of financial support; and
- Application of public fee requirements to requests for extension of stay and change of status.
“These changes will not only strengthen the integrity of our immigration system and ensure immigrant self-sufficiency, but will protect taxpayers and vulnerable Americans who depend on the availability of public safety net benefits,” Stein concluded.
Contact: Preston Huennekens202-328-7004 or [email protected]
ABOUT THE FAIR
Founded in 1979, FAIR is the nation’s largest immigration reform group. With over 3 million members and supporters nationwide, FAIR fights for immigration policies that serve national interests, not special interests. FAIR believes that immigration reform must strengthen national security, improve the economy, protect jobs, preserve our environment, and establish a recognized and enforced rule of law.
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SOURCE Federation of American Immigration Reform (FAIR)