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Balamban

Beware of accidentally finding oneself on Medicaid.

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Posted (edited)

From a buzzfeed article, “A new rule being drafted by the Trump administration would weaponize the Affordable Care Act and other social programs against immigrants, potentially affecting millions.”

 

Title of article: “The Trump Administration Could Reject Legal Status For Immigrants If They Used Food Stamps Or Obamacare

 

I’m surprised this is not being discussed here. (Or it is and I haven't found it)   My immigrant wife has been taking classes in English and other subjects and often I hear how “evil,” Trump is.  Prior to this article I’ve always taken the stance that Trump has done nothing adversarial to those who have run the gauntlet via legal processes such as the K1.  It seems this has changed.

 

As petitioner for K1 I realize that I am responsible for my wife, should she become a public charge—that has always seemed reasonable.

 

It seems though, should this come to pass such that if a legal immigrant use Obamacare (ACA) such that the family income allows a subsidy—that upcoming 10-year green card might well be denied.

 

In our case, my income was “heady,” in the past.  Unfortunately, I went from heady income to zero income due to a few reasons, one included being unable to work for a period of time due to disability.  With only a family income currently of ~$20-40k should my wife choose Obamacare, it would likely come with an automatic subsidy, even if not asked for.  Based on this article she could conceivable be denied the 10-year green card.

 

Interestingly, not long after she entered America there was a minor, but concerning health issue and she was, at that time not covered by any insurance.  She went to a local clinic who had a “sliding scale,” fee system.  The issue turned out to be minor but luckily, I intervened just as she started to sign something.  The “something,” was a document that noted our low family income and was clearly an application which the clinic intended to submit such that she would become covered by Medicaid.  I was furious and ripped the document up offering to pay instead of this underhanded, and undesired Medicaid application.  Now, I realize, had I not ripped up this sneaky attempt—her status might currently be in jeopardy since as it appears to be written any use of Obamacare, Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance, and many more—even if your child intentionally or accidentally uses the National School Lunch and Breakfast program.  As it is written immigration status could be in jeopardy if the family used emergency disaster relief.

 

From the article (search using the title if you care to, as I’m not sure if links are allowed here) “the new rule could change all of this and count use of any of these services as a strike against someone. The March draft rule would have lowered the bar from someone relying primarily on government support, to someone using one or more public benefits. Use of any such benefit in the three previous years would be weighed as a negative factor.

Edited by Balamban
system took my line spacing away

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I just heard about it while I was cutting the lawn.......The story I heard didn't give a lot of details, so I'll do some research...


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It was talked about a few months ago when it first hit the news.

Basically until it's signed and approved, there's nothing we can do about it and best not to worry.

Note that the people at the clinic most likely did not know she was an immigrant when handing over low income papers. 

Also that this could be a negative factor, but it doesn't state that it will just reject. It's not like if you "accidently" sign up to vote (and didn't read the paperwork) and claim your a USC to do it and then screw yourself over for Naturalization.


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Also, the public charge issue is not part of ROC, so it wouldn't impact getting the 10 year green card (from a 2 year/conditional one).


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23 minutes ago, geowrian said:

Also, the public charge issue is not part of ROC, so it wouldn't impact getting the 10 year green card (from a 2 year/conditional one).

Is there anything preventing them to verify the use of public services in the future? I would imagine if they want to monitor their new regulations, they'll need updated forms and that's it. No?

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, Lemonslice said:

Is there anything preventing them to verify the use of public services in the future? I would imagine if they want to monitor their new regulations, they'll need updated forms and that's it. No?

I'm unsure of what the exact process would be (other than asking people), but presumably the rule would permit policies to enforce it, including access to various databases.

Naturalization is the only other stop I can think of (outside of petitioning somebody else) where the use of public funds could be an issue. Although that's generally along the lines of receiving benefits for which you weren't entitled, not of being a public charge risk itself.

Edited by geowrian

Timelines:

Spoiler

AOS (I-485 + I-131 + I-765):

9/25/17: sent forms to Chicago

9/27/17: received by USCIS

10/4/17: NOA1 electronic notification received

10/10/17: NOA1 hard copy received. Social Security card being issued in married name (3rd attempt!)

10/14/17: Biometrics appointment notice received

10/25/17: Biometrics

1/2/18: EAD + AP approved (no website update)

1/5/18: EAD + AP mailed

1/8/18: EAD + AP approval notice hardcopies received

1/10/18: EAD + AP received

9/5/18: Interview scheduled notice

10/17/18: Interview

10/24/18: Green card produced notice

10/25/18: Formal approval

10/31/18: Green card received

 

K-1:

Spoiler

I-129F

12/1/17: sent

12/14/17: NOA1 hard copy received

3/10/17: RFE (IMB verification)

3/22/17: RFE response received

3/24/17: Approved!

3/30/17: NOA2 hard copy received

 

NVC

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4/12/2017: Sent to Riyadh embassy

4/16/2017: Case received at Riyadh embassy

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K-1

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1 minute ago, geowrian said:

I'm unsure of what the exact process would be (other than asking people), but presumably the rule would permit policies to enforce it, including access to various databases.

Naturalization is the only other stop I can think of (outside of petitioning somebody else) where the use of public funds could be an issue. Although that's generally along the lines of receiving benefits for which you weren't entitled, not of being a public charge risk itself.

It's going to be interesting to see how things go in the next few months.  

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The rule is set, as far as I can tell to be published on the 14th. Until that time we have not much way of examining the final wording and what it will include. It was to my understanding that after floating around the Ocare stuff, to means tested benefits only - Ocare does not apply here. The idea to some degree is that a 'bond' could be signed for. Ultimately I feel as if this penalizes USC's and their families from the use of benefits that they are legally allowed to use. As this article notes (and it's pretty good at explaining here) it is not illegal for an immigrant to potentially use some benefits. This rule change does not make it illegal, it only gives consequences to utilizing it. It will add another encroachment to state's rights and personal liberty for citizens and their foreign spouses. It will be difficult imo to enforce, and may lead to denials under suspicion of a potential, and not taking into account actual evidence. One study suggests over half of all applications would be denied. There is a difference in using something that is restricted from being used and a difference in some dude surmising you could use it in the future. You could also be struck by lightning or hit by an anvil falling from the sky. Assuming it could happen, does not mean it will. https://www.cato.org/blog/explanation-public-charge-rule-frequently-asked-questions


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10 hours ago, Boiler said:

How many times on this very Forum have people brought over parents and come on here an asked what benefits they are eligible for?

The cavalier attitude some here have had about that (and health insurance in general) always shocks me.  Both of my parents are in their 70s and have medicare as well as defined-benefit pensions from having been civil servants. They are amongst the lucky in this country.  My mom is a financial guru and has planned carefully for her retirement, but my dad really didn't.   

 

I can't imagine bringing either of them to another country and starting from scratch in terms of retirement.

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13 hours ago, Balamban said:

My immigrant wife has been taking classes in English and other subjects

Talking about "automatic subsidies", my wife was planning on taking some English classes at an "Adult Continuing Education School". I think almost every city has one of those schools helping new immigrants integrate by learning English (for a nominal fee) and even offering affordable short-term (6 mo to a year) apprenticeship, trades and programs to help them break into the job market and start relying on themselves. BUT NOW with this "public charge" thing (disguised under so many seemingly harmless programs) maybe I should ask her to stay away from such schools as they're often subsidized by some sort of state or federal grant! Thoughts?

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2 minutes ago, Karim2018 said:

Talking about "automatic subsidies", my wife was planning on taking some English classes at an "Adult Continuing Education School". I think almost every city has one of those schools helping new immigrants integrate by learning English (for a nominal fee) and even offering affordable short-term (6 mo to a year) apprenticeship, trades and programs to help them break into the job market and start relying on themselves. BUT NOW with this "public charge" thing (disguised under so many seemingly harmless programs) maybe I should ask her to stay away from such schools as they're often subsidized by some sort of state or federal grant! Thoughts?

I wouldn't worry about english classes.   Those are not examples are public charge.


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2 minutes ago, C and L said:

My Husband New employment Payslip Says Paying for Medicaid but He has never used it. Is that a public charge

 

That is his deduction for paying into medicaid.  Just like Social Security.


March 2, 2018  Married In Hong Kong

April 30, 2018  Mary moves from the Philippines to Mexico, Husband has MX Permanent Residency

June 13, 2018 Mary receives Mexican Residency Card

June 15, 2018  I-130 DCF Appointment in Juarez  -  June 18, 2018  Approval E-Mail

August 2, 2018 Case Complete At Consulate

September 25, 2018 Interview in CDJ and Approved!

October 7, 2018 In the USA

October 27, 2018 Green Card received 

October 29, 2018 Applied for Social Security Card - November 5, 2018 Social Security Card received

November 6th, 2018 State ID Card Received, Applied for Global Entry - Feb 8,2019 Approved.

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