Declaration of Self-Sufficiency, 2021

505 sheet of US letter size paper, notice of Request for Evidence
21.6 x 28 x 5.3 cm (8.5 x 11 x 2.1 in)
Weight: 4.7 pound

505 pages of blank paper is cut through with the shape of a card - creating a window to the notice of Request for Evidence for application for permanent residence (green card). In between two administrations, the denial and appealing of a new rule, in adjustment of status between an expired I-20 (student form) and a Permanent Resident (green card) holder, Declaration of Self-Sufficiency offers an interstice into the experience of an immigrant, the impact and power of the administration, as well as serving as my declaration of value of being an immigrant artist.

In 2019, the Trump administration enacted a Public Charge Rule that requires legal immigrants to submit a burdensome I-944 Declaration of Self-Sufficiency in addition to their application of adjustment of status. The form I-944 was used to collect the applicants’ information for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officials to determine whether the applicant can support themselves and not be a “burden” of the US. The rule went in and out of effectiveness in the course of 2020.

From July 29 to September 22, 2020 a court ruling prevented USCIS from processing the form - during this time I submitted my green card application without the form. Then on Nov 19, the rule went into effect again and I received a notice of Request for Evidence. I submitted 505 pages of evidence to prove my “Self-Sufficiency”, including my education record, financial status, language skill, credit score, health benefits and more. On March 9, the form I-944 was discontinued under the Biden administration, and USCIS will no longer consider any information submitted with the form.

 Me with the actual document.