Section 213A of the Immigration and Nationality Act (the INA) changed the requirements
for a sponsor's affidavit of support of an alien. This section required the Attorney
General of the United States to develop a new, legally enforceable version of the
affidavit of support. Beginning with 12/19/97, the Immigration and Naturalization
Service (INS) has used the new affidavit of support.
NOTE: Aliens whose sponsors sign the new, legally enforceable affidavit of support may
be subject to the alien deeming policy. (See SI 00502.200 ff. for instructions on processing sponsor-to-alien deeming cases.)
Section 213A also provided that when an alien is sponsored under the new affidavit
and receives any benefits under a means-tested public assistance program, the sponsor
who executed the legally enforceable affidavit of support is liable to repay the amount
the alien received to the agency that made the payments. Supplemental security income
(SSI) is a means-tested public assistance program subject to recovery under the provisions
of section 213A.
Upon determination that an alien who is sponsored under the new affidavit of support
is receiving SSI payments, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will notify the
sponsor of its determination and demand repayment of the full amount of the SSI payments
made to the alien. If the sponsor does not indicate a willingness to make repayment,
SSA will refer the case to the Department of Justice (DOJ) to pursue court action
against the sponsor. Further, if the sponsor fails to comply with the repayment terms
established by SSA, SSA will refer the case to the DOJ for action against the sponsor.
SSA will not, however, refer a case to the DOJ when more than 10 years have passed
from the month that the sponsored alien last received a SSI payment.