‘Withdrawal consistent with Biden’s commitment to reduce barriers within the legal immigration system.’
American citizens and permanent residents wishing to sponsor family or friends immigrating to the US would no longer have to provide an affidavit of support as proposed by the previous Trump administration.
Announcing the withdrawal of the proposed rule Thursday, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said it was doing so “consistent with its commitment to reduce barriers within the legal immigration system.”
The Oct. 2, 2020, proposed rule, it said, would have “changed the evidentiary requirements for sponsorship and placed increased burdens on American families wishing to sponsor individuals immigrating to the US.”
The rule would have required sponsoring citizens and green card holders to complete “an affidavit of support under Section 213A of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) on behalf of the intending immigrant.”
“Consistent with President Biden’s Executive Order (EO) 14012, Restoring Faith in Our Legal Immigration Systems and Strengthening Integration and Inclusion Efforts for New Americans, DHS and USCIS are committed to eliminating barriers that prevent legal immigrants from accessing government services available to them,” DHS said.
The affidavit of support proposed rule would have imposed higher qualifying and evidentiary requirements, including production of tax returns, banking information and credit reports, it noted.
Moreover, these requirements would have placed new, costly burdens, estimated at $2.4 billion over the next decade, on US citizens, US nationals, and lawful permanent residents signing an affidavit of support on behalf of intending immigrants, DHS said.
DHS last week also scrapped Trump’s 2019 public charge rule aimed at limiting green cards for those likely to accept public benefits after the Supreme Court allowed it to drop the previous administration’s appeal to revive the immigration restrictions,.
The rule directed federal immigration authorities to decline green cards and visas to applicants who were likely to become reliant on public aid — and expanded the universe of immigrants who fell into that category.
At that time DHS also announced it would withdraw the proposed rule requiring an affidavit of support from sponsors of immigrants.
“Today, DHS closed the book on the public charge rule,” Alejandro Mayorkas, the secretary of Homeland Security, said in a statement on March 11.
It “is doing the same with respect to a proposed rule regarding the affidavit of support that would have placed undue burdens on American families wishing to sponsor individuals lawfully immigrating to the US,” he said.
“In the weeks ahead, we will work with our federal agency partners and community leaders to ensure immigrants and their families have accurate information about our public charge policies,” Mayorkas said.