Discussion Points for Punto Legal –February 19, 2020
1. Public Charge Rule.
The public charge rule goes into effect on Monday, February 24 for adjustments of status, that is, for people fixing their papers in the U.S. (If you are adjusting from a U visa, you don’t have to worry about the public charge rule.)
The immigration service has rolled out an 18 page form called an I-944 Declaration of Self-Sufficiency; they have rolled out the instructions for the form; and they have issued instructions to immigration officer sfor how to evaluate the form and determine whether or not the intending mmigrant is likely to become a public charge. Immigration officers have been instructed to balance all the factors, good and bad. The immigration has told its officers to consider the following factors as negative factors:
· Age under 17 and age 62 and over.
· Household income below 125 percent of the poverty line for the household.
· Poor credit score.
· No private health insurance.
· No high school diploma of GED
· No work experience.
· Limited to no English proficiency
Positive factors are:
· Age between 18 and 61
· Good health.
· Household income at least 125 percent of the poverty line. Household income at or above 250 percent of the poverty line is a heavily weighted positive factor.
· Assets, such as a home, greater than your debt.
· A good, very good, or exceptional credit score.
· Private Health insurance. This is a heavily weighted factor.
· High school diploma or GED or higher education.
· Basic English skill
· Hard skills such as a journeyman license, CDL, or CNA license.
· Stay-at-home parent who is a caregiver to children or the disabled.
At Ted Hess and Associates, we have been studying the new regulations, the instructions, and the I-944 form itself. In addition to all the paperwork required to immigrate, here is some of the additional paperwork you are going to have to submit to overcome the public charge rule:
· You bank, savings, and retirement account statements
· Your car loan balance and credit card bills.
· If you own a home, an appraisal by a licensed appraiser.
· A credit report and credit score, if you can obtain one.
· A letter from your employer or health insurer about your health coverage.
· High school diploma or GED certificate.
· College diplomas and certificates
· Work-related licenses and certificates.
Everybody is going to have work harder to become a resident.
2. New Spanish-speaking criminal defense lawyer.
We have a new Spanish-speaking criminal defense abogado. His name is Brian Roche. Brian is fluent in Spanish. He has seen a lot of criminal cases as a public defender in Denver. And he served as prosecutor in Eagle County. Working as a prosecutor actually makes you a better defense lawyer. Now you can hire a lawyer who is ready to defend you and explain everything to you in Spanish.
3. Tips for New Year.
Number 1. If you can fix you papers in the United States, that is, adjust your status to lawful permanent resident, do it quickly. You may be able to beat the $1000 fee increase and probability that the “public charge” rule will come into effect. Number 2. If you have DACA, renew your DACA for another two years to stay ahead of a Supreme Court decision allowing President Trump to end DACA. If you have El Salvador TPS and a citizen spouse or 21-year-old child, travel to El Salvador with an advance travel permit so that you can fix your papers in the United States.