IMPORTANT UPDATE — FEBRUARY 2, 2021: The new Department of Homeland Security (DHS) public charge rule, which initially took effect on Feb. 24, 2020, is currently in effect but under review by the Biden administration. The new Department of State (DOS) public charge policy that took effect the same day as the DHS rule was paused indefinitely on July 29, 2020. This page reflects those policies and will not be immediately updated according to the previous, longstanding guidance issued in 1999. Learn more.
A coalition of more than 100 of the nation’s leading companies — including Microsoft, Levi Strauss, and Twitter — on Thursday filed an amicus brief before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, urging that the Department of Homeland Security’s public charge rule is an arbitrary, capricious, and unconscionable regulation. Collectively, the companies involved in the brief employ approximately 1 million American workers and generate more than 1 trillion dollars in revenue.
The brief, led by Boundless, argues that the public charge rule creates substantial and unnecessary obstacles for people looking to come to the United States or stay as legal permanent residents. By hindering immigration — including the movement of highly-skilled immigrants — the public charge rule will:
- Slow economic growth
- Prevent businesses from expanding
- Break faith with core American values
“The public charge rule will add an unprecedented level of complexity and subjectivity onto the immigration system,” said Boundless CEO Xiao Wang. “This country and the major employers represented in this filing are made better by talented and hard-working immigrants. We will continue to fight back against this administration’s efforts to deter, delay, and deny legal immigration.”
What happens next?
If the public charge rule goes into effect, legal immigrants could be denied a temporary visa or a green card if they have poor credit scores, earn less than a comfortable middle-class salary, are over the age of 61, have debt of any kind, or lack previous educational degrees, among many other disqualifying factors. In October, 5 federal courts ruled against the government and blocked DHS from implementing its version of the public charge rule. Most recently, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit upheld an injunction on the rule entered by a federal district judge in New York. Despite this, the Trump administration has asked the Supreme Court to allow the rule to still be implemented.