In the United States, the federal policies that determine how people can enter the country, secure housing, find work and receive vital services such as healthcare are constantly evolving. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to the most important policies to know.


Federal Policy

On President Biden’s first day in office, he signed several executive orders that reversed many of former President Trump’s policies, including cancelling travel bans, pausing deportations for 100 days for most immigrants and stopping border wall construction, among other things. The Biden administration’s policies are expected to bring significant immigration reform.

➔ How Biden’s Policies Will Impact Immigrants and Refugees


Public Charge

On March 9, 2021, the public charge rule introduced by the Trump administration was struck down. On that day, the Department of Justice decided to stop defending the rule, the U.S. Supreme Court dismissed all pending appeals related to the rule, and the 7th Circuit dismissed the government’s appeal. On March 13, 2021, the Department of Homeland Security officially withdrew the October 2019 public charge rule. In place of the rule, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has reinstated the 1999 Field Guidance. In early September, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security finalized a new public charge rule that will go into effect December 23, 2022.

➔ What does this mean for immigrants?


Basic Necessities

As of March 9, 2021, the use of basic necessities, such as SNAP (“food stamps”), will not be held against immigrants when applying for admission to the U.S. or adjustment of immigration status. Washington state immigrants and refugees should feel free to seek any public benefits for which they qualify.

➔ What Basic Necessities Are Available in Washington?


Accessing Healthcare

Immigrants and refugees in the United States face many challenges when attempting to access healthcare, including a lack of clear guidance on when and how to access care and obtain health insurance. While the process of obtaining insurance varies depending on a person’s current legal status, all immigrants and refugees can receive healthcare regardless of whether or not they have health insurance.

➔ Navigating the System


Legal and Immigration

In immigration law, a sponsor is defined as someone who helps an immigrant or refugee become a lawful permanent resident (green card holder) by signing a document called an “affidavit of support.” A sponsor has certain responsibilities under the law, so knowing and understanding these responsibilities is essential before one signs an affidavit of support.

➔ Understanding Legal and Immigration


➔ Get the Latest Policy News



Reviewed on 9/18/2022