public-policy article

Proposed Public Charge Rule Open for Comment

October 10, 2018

This morning, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officially published the proposed rule to broaden the definition of “public charge.” DHS will accept public comments on the proposed rule via through December 10.

As we wrote recently, the proposed rule would, among other things, expand the number of federal programs the use of which would count against a family when considering their public charge status in the context of seeking admission to, or permanent legal residence in, the United States. The proposed rule would prevent everyone from contributing fully to our society and limit our economic growth by effectively forcing families to choose between pursuing a green card or accepting public benefits. Specifically, the Fiscal Policy Institute estimates up to $33.8 billion dollars in overall economic loss and 230,000 lost jobs if the rule is implemented as proposed. Included among expanded list of programs are some of those most effective at constructing well-being in our communities—SNAP, Medicaid, housing assistance, and even potentially CHIP. Helping immigrants reach their full potential through the support of federal human service programs empowers our communities to grow and helps us succeed as a nation.On Tuesday, Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA), introduced a bill in the House, with 49 co-sponsors, to prohibit any federal funds from being used to implement the proposed rule. In the Senate, 22 democrats sent a letter to DHS Secretary Nielsen opposing the rule and asking for it to be withdrawn. While both of these measures are largely symbolic, it does signal to the administration that the rule will not be promulgated without push back. Further, the Protect Immigrant Families coalition has developed resources to assist organizations and individuals with submitting formal comments opposing the rule change.

The National Assembly will also circulate guidance for you and your network as the December 10 deadline approaches. For more information contact