Proposed rule could affect family immigration in the U.S.

When a U.S. citizen or a legal resident has loved ones in another nation, they may wish to bring their loved one here so their family can be reunited. The issue of family immigration is very important to them. Any changes to family immigration regulations deserve the attention of all people in Kentucky and across the U.S., so they can take action if necessary.

The current presidential administration wants to establish an income test that individuals wishing to lawfully enter the country or become legal residents must pass to achieve these goals. The proposed test would give greater preference to individuals whose household incomes are greater than 250 percent of the poverty level. The proposed minimum household income needed to pass the test would be set at 125 percent of the poverty level. The rationale behind the proposed income test is to avoid having individuals enter our country who would be a “public charge.”

As this proposal is a regulation, it is not set by Congress. Instead the proposed public charge rule has been published in the Federal Register, and it will go through the administrative process that is required to add or change U.S. regulations. There will be a 60-day period for the public to comment on the proposed regulation. The federal government will consider those comments and determine whether the regulation should be modified before it is finalized.

According to one professional, if this rule was implemented, of the 400,000 green cards granted to spouses of citizens and legal residents of the United States around 200,000 couples would be kept apart based on their income. The rule would significantly reduce how many spouses, parents and children of U.S. citizens would be permitted to reside in the country.

This rule may be troubling to many in Kentucky who are trying to become U.S. residents or bring a loved one into the country. However, with the right help, obtaining a green card is not impossible. This proposed income rule could significantly change the face of immigration in our country, but it is not insurmountable. It currently is a proposal and could potentially be changed to lessen the negative effect it would have on family immigration.



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