(Photo via Facebook / USCIS)
One month after President Donald Trump’s 2017 inauguration, a Seattle startup called Boundless exited stealth mode and announced it would develop technology tools to make the immigration system more navigable.
In the two years that followed, Boundless rolled out products that help immigrants apply for green cards and citizenship, while publishing a steady stream of content to demystify the process. At the same time, Trump introduced policies that limit legal and illegal immigration.
On Friday, the agendas of Boundless and the Trump administration collided with federal court decisions in a complex turn of events that reflects the uncertainty immigrants in America deal with every day.
Three federal judges blocked the Trump administration from implementing a policy that expands the grounds for denying green card and visa applications. The policy, which was set to take effect Tuesday, empowers the government to deny applications from immigrants who use public benefits, like Medicaid. It also raises the minimum income required to be eligible for a green card.
There are other factors that the policy allows immigration officials to consider. The goal, in a nutshell, is to reduce the number immigrants who rely on government assistance, and therefore taxpayer dollars, according to the Trump administration. The criteria for making the determination of whether an immigrant is a “public charge” is complex — and that’s where Boundless comes in.
Boundless began developing a “Public Charge Risk Estimator” before the judges issued an injunction blocking the policy. The tool asks immigrants a series of questions and determines how likely they are to be denied residency based on their answers. Boundless asks about English language skills, household income, and whether the respondent has used public benefits.
A question from Boundless’ new Public Charge Risk Estimator.
The tool is designed “so that families can better understand where their …read more