US green card ruling may not hurt Indians 1

US green card ruling may not hurt Indians

Most Indians on green card wait list are on H-1B visa, not dependent on state aid Most Indian nationals in line for a US green card are unlikely to be affected by the US Supreme Court’s decision to lift an injunction on a rule requiring an additional set of factors while reviewing green card applications.

The public charge rule, which gives discretion to immigration officers to decide who they want to admit into the US based on their assessment of whether the immigrants are likely to become an expense to taxpayers by requiring state-sponsored aid like healthcare or food stamps, was introduced by the Donald Trump administration last year.

The US government had said then that it was intended “to better ensure that aliens subject to the public charge inadmissibility ground are self-sufficient, i.e., do not depend on public resources to meet their needs, but rather rely on their own capabilities, as well as the resources of family members, sponsors, and private organizations.”

Majority of Indians waiting for a green card have gone to the United States on an H-1B visa, putting them in the category of highly skilled and high earning individuals, not dependent on state aid.

It may, however, impact a small number of people who apply for a green card under the family or relative-based green card category.

A few weeks ago, over 100 US companies including Microsoft and Twitter, led by US startup Boundless had signed a ‘friend of the court brief’ requesting the Supreme Court to not strike down the injunction.

Their contention was that it would make it harder for immigrants to gain legal status, hurting innovation, and the economy.

“Let’s be clear: Hardly anybody applying for a green card is even eligible for government benefits, and they’re not likely to use them in the future. The public charge rule is simply an attempt to bypass Congress and block immigrants who aren’t wealthy,” Doug Rand, Boundless co-founder and president, had said two weeks ago when a district court had stayed the injunction.

Monday’s Supreme Court ruling in a 5-4 vote overthrows this verdict and allows the US government to screen green card applications on this additional parameter.

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