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Beverly Hills, California, United States
Eli Kantor is a labor, employment and immigration law attorney. He has been practicing labor, employment and immigration law for more than 36 years. He has been featured in articles about labor, employment and immigration law in the L.A. Times, Business Week.com and Daily Variety. He is a regular columnist for the Daily Journal. Telephone (310)274-8216; eli@elikantorlaw.com. For more information, visit beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com and and beverlyhillsemploymentlaw.com


Friday, January 03, 2020

Will Son's Severe Disability Make Him a "Public Charge"?

By Jesse Canales 
January 1, 2020 / KV13

A Central Florida mother who became a U.S. citizen years ago fears her disabled adult son would be considered a "public charge" if a new federal rule takes effect, restricting his ability to become a citizen himself.

Here are a few things to know about the case, and how it relates to the Trump administration:

1. Anastacia Vega, 66, cares for her severely disabled son Mario Castro, 44. Mario incurred brain damage after he was involved in a car accident before his 18th birthday. Doctors told Vega that her son would never recover. He now gets around in a wheelchair his mother pushes to mobilize him.

2. Mario requires 24/7 care. He is unable to communicate other than grunts only his mother understands. Vega left her job to care for him. She makes homemade jewelry to pay for some of the medical costs. She also said she is thankful for the help she receives from nonprofits.

3. Vega became a U.S. citizen in 2006 but her son is still undocumented. She said he was once almost deported. "If he gets deported, who will care for him?" she said in Spanish. "Me as a mother can only support him through help and no one will support him if he’s taken from me."

4. Because of his status, Mario does not qualify for Medicaid to receive Home and Community Based Services. According to Medicaid.gov, in 2014, HCBS makes up 53 percent of all long-term Medicaid spending.

5. Vega said she is also fearful of the Trump administration's public charge rule that was supposed to take effect on October 15, 2019. The rule was blocked by lower federal courts. Several immigration and disability rights advocacy groups have filed a lawsuit against the rule. They argued the Rehabilitation Act excludes anyone with a significant disability in a public charge determination. Immigration lawyers expect the rule to be decided by Supreme Court justices.

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