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Immigration laws allow the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to deny visas and green cards to individuals that officials believe may become a “public charge” and a so-called drain on government resources. The law does not specifically define who is considered to be a public charge, but it is generally someone who will need to rely on public benefits and government programs to meet their basic needs. Officials have long used guidance regarding public charge determinations that include factors such as the use of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or benefits for long-term care.

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