Date and Time:
09/10/2020 11:00am to 12:30pm PDT
Recorded Date:
Registration Deadline:
Thursday, September 10, 2020 - 11:00am
Ariel Brown
Sarah Lakhani
1.5 CA
Recording, $115.00

Now that the new Department of Homeland Security rule on public charge inadmissibility has gone into effect, practitioners must include a new form, the I-944 "Declaration of Self-Sufficiency," for adjustment applicants who are subject to public charge. This webinar will discuss who needs to submit the I-944 and what information and evidence is required, go over the new USCIS policy guidance on public charge to understand how adjudicators will use the I-944 as part of the public charge test, and provide practice tips and other suggestions for completing this form and collecting the supporting evidence. The new public charge rule places less emphasis on the affidavit of support and instead encourages officers to rely on other factors, covered more comprehensively in the I-944. Thus, the I-944 is now a critical piece of evidence in deciding whether an applicant for adjustment of status is inadmissible based on the public charge ground. 


*Note that on July 29, 2020, a federal district court briefly halted implementation nationwide of the new DHS public charge rule during the COVID-19 national health emergency. Then on August 12, 2020, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals limited the scope of the injunction to just New York, Connecticut, and Vermont. This means that everywhere outside the Second Circuit the government may resume implementation of the new rule, including use of Form I-944.


Ariel Brown

Ariel Brown joined the ILRC in April 2017. After five years in private practice at a well-respected immigration firm in Sacramento, Schoenleber & Waltermire, PC, Ariel brings extensive practical experience to the ILRC. She has experience filing numerous immigration applications and regularly appearing before USCIS, ICE, and EOIR, with cases spanning the areas of removal defense, family-based adjustment of status and consular processing, DACA, naturalization, SIJS, U visas, and VAWA. She was also involved in establishing Sacramento’s rapid response network to respond to immigration enforcement action, and served as an American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA)-USCIS liaison.

Ariel contributes to the ILRC’s Attorney of the Day legal technical assistance program, as well as writing and updating practice advisories and manuals and presenting on family-based topics for ILRC webinars.

Prior to joining the ILRC, Ariel also briefly volunteered with the International Institute of the Bay Area in Oakland, and Catholic Charities of the East Bay in Richmond. In law school, Ariel was a student advocate with the UC Davis Immigration Law Clinic, assisting with cancellation of removal cases for indigent noncitizens, and an editor for the Journal of International Law and Policy.

Ariel earned her law degree from the University of California at Davis, and her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, where she majored in anthropology. Ariel is admitted to the state bar in California.

Sarah Lakhani

Sarah is a Skadden Fellow at the Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) in San Francisco. She focuses on the intersection of immigration status and public benefits, family-based immigration, and relief options for immigrant survivors of domestic violence, human trafficking, and other crimes. This includes writing and updating practice advisories, manuals, and other resources for immigrant community members, legal practitioners, and other advocates and services providers. Sarah also conducts in-person and webinar trainings and contributes to the ILRC’s Attorney of the Day legal technical assistance program.

Prior to the ILRC, Sarah completed a Ph.D. and M.A. in Sociology with an emphasis on immigration and the sociology of law. She was a Law and Social Science Doctoral Fellow at the American Bar Foundation in Chicago, Illinois and a Visiting Scholar at the Center for the Study of Law & Society at Berkeley Law, where she engaged in academic work on the U.S. legalization process, immigration lawyering, and immigrants’ access to education, employment, and public benefits.

As a law student, Sarah worked at the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project, the East Bay Community Law Center, the East Bay Sanctuary Covenant, the ILRC, and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area. She also externed at the San Francisco Immigration Court and was a Human Rights Center Fellow and editor of the California Law Review.

Sarah earned her J.D. from Berkeley Law, her Ph.D. and M.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles, and her B.A. in Sociology from the University of California, San Diego. She speaks Spanish and Italian and is a member of the California bar.