United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Acting Director Ken Cuccinelli outlined the details of the new rule from the White House briefing room Monday morning, citing his own immigrant family from Italy.
The new rule does not affect asylum seekers, refugees, pregnant women, mortgage loans or students loans. Food stamps, cash assistance and other welfare will count as a negative on applications to become legal permanent residents. Likelihood of welfare use, current use or past use will only serve as one negative factor as applications are considered. A totality of other factors, like age and employment, will also be considered before a green card is issued.
The rule will go into affect on October 15, 2019 and applications for green cards will not consider the new requirements while evaluating eligibility until that date. Applications submitted before October 15 will not be subject to the additional scrutiny.