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BECOMING Legal: A Guide to the New Immigration Law : 'Public Cost'

May 04, 1987

The immigration officer who interviews the applicant will decide whether he or she might become a "public burden." This decision will be based on employment history, regardless of income, and the applicant's ability to support himself and his family without resort to public assistance.

INS regulations suggest that where an applicant has received "cash welfare payments," that will be an "important factor" in deciding whether one will be a public burden.

The INS defines "cash welfare payments" as income "received by the alien or his immediate family members through federal, state, or local programs designed to satisfy levels of subsistence."

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