About two or every five recent green card holders may not have been given a green card were they subjected to new review guidelines. And that could easily understate the impact.
Revisions to the “public charge” rule went into effect this month. An August, 2019 study puts the then-proposed changes into the context of profiles of recent green card recipients.
It says, “Using Census data to review the characteristics of recent green-card holders, the Migration Policy Institute found 43% were not employed or enrolled in school; 39% did not speak English well or at all; 33% had incomes below 125% of the poverty line; 25% lacked a high school diploma; and 12% had incomes below 125% of poverty and were either under 18 or over 61.” These are among the criteria that would expose an applicant to denial.
Among recent green-card holders, 69% had at least one of these negative factors; 43% had at least two; and 17% had at least three. Most applicants would fall into a gray area with some positive and some negative factors, underscoring how discretionary the process may be.