New Rule: Immigrants Must Have Financially-Reliable Sponsors

Press Releases

November 3, 2020

IRLI supports tightening affidavit of support requirements

WASHINGTON—Yesterday, the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) submitted a public comment in support of a new rule, proposed by the Trump administration, that would require those who say they will sponsor an immigrant to meet heightened financial standards, and be prepared to pay back the government for any public assistance the immigrant receives.

Critics have charged that the new rule sets the financial bar for sponsors too high. But, as IRLI points out in its comment, making people who themselves receive public assistance ineligible to sponsor immigrants, as the new rule does, advances the congressional goal that new immigrants to America be self-sufficient and not a burden to taxpayers. Other requirements in the new rule—for example, that would-be sponsors provide their tax returns for the last three years, so their financial resources can better be assessed—are expressly mandated by statute.

“From colonial times onwards, America has insisted that settlers and immigrants be self-sufficient, not taxpayer-dependent,” said Dale L. Wilcox, executive director and general counsel of IRLI. “This rule has served our nation well, but in recent decades it hasn’t been enforced, to the point where immigrant households are now more dependent on public assistance than native households. We applaud the administration for returning us to a time-tested policy that requires hardy self-reliance in our immigrants, and believe that this policy—and these new requirements that bolster it—accurately reflects the intent of Congress.”

The comment is on DHS Docket No. USCIS-2019-0023: Affidavit in Support on Behalf of Immigrants, 85 Fed. Reg. 62432 (October 2, 2020).

For additional information, contact: Brian Lonergan • 202-232-5590 • blonergan@irli.org

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