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New immigration proposal could force tough decisions

As the immigration laws in this country continue to change, it can be hard to keep up with everything. There is a new proposal on the table that could force some immigrants to make very difficult decisions if it is passed. It was published in the Federal Register on Oct. 10, which is the first day of a 60-day term when the public can comment on it.

The new proposal is one that would allow immigrants to be rejected for green cards if they've had to rely on public assistance. In the past, only cash benefits were counted. These included Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). Under the new proposal, other public benefits would also be counted. These include some commonly used, such as housing assistance, low-income Medicare drug subsidies for seniors, food stamps and Medicaid.

Another big change that the proposal seeks to make is that it would count a public charge as benefits that are equal to the federal poverty level. For a single person, that would mean receiving only $150 per month in benefits or about $1,800 per year.

Unfortunately, this proposal will force families with an immigrant to choose between some programs that are vital for lower-income families and the ability to receive a green card. Many of these families are hard workers and only want to make ends meet for their children. Those children might suffer if this passes.

As you can imagine, this change could make immigration much more difficult for anyone who isn't inherently wealthy. If you are going through any immigration process, make sure that you know how any action you take might impact that.

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