On August 12, 2019, the federal government finalized radical changes to “public charge” rules in an effort to disqualify many immigrants from gaining permanent residency in the US. The rule went into effect in California on February 24, 2020, even as multiple legal challenges continue to move through the federal courts. The US Citizenship and Immigration Service has announced that immigrants can seek testing, treatment, and prevention of COVID-19 without fearing immigration consequences due to public charge.
CHCF will provide updates as they become available. For more information, readers can also refer to the Protecting Immigrant Families Campaign, National Immigrant Law Center, and the California Immigrant Policy Center.
This collection highlights the potential impact that the changes to the public charge rule could have on the ability of immigrants to access the health care they need. It also highlights emerging research on the rule’s chilling effect on immigrants’ use of health care and other services.
One in Six Adults in California Immigrant Families Avoided Public Benefits in 2019, Study Finds
New Evidence Demonstrates That The Public Charge Rule Will Harm Immigrant Families and Others
This Health Affairs blog summarizes a variety of studies that have been released since the announcement of the public charge rule, many as expert declarations in lawsuits opposing the rule. These studies project lower SNAP and Medicaid enrollment as well as losses in economic output resulting from the new rule. One study predicts 1,300 – 4,000 excess deaths resulting from declines in Medicaid coverage, while another estimates that the loss of housing benefits will result in worse health outcomes, lower educational attainment, and lower lifetime earnings for certain individuals.
Know Your Rights: Public Charge Educational Resources
These community-facing materials from the Protecting Immigrant Families (PIF) are intended to better equip immigrants with the information they need to make the best decisions for themselves and for their families. Some materials are specifically for those working with immigrants, including advocates, health care professionals and legal service providers. Resources are in a variety of languages.
Final Federal Rule on Immigrants and Public Charge: Fact Sheet
On August 12, 2019, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security released the final rule on “public charge,” which will likely increase the number of uninsured in California. ITUP summarizes the final rule alongside existing federal law related to public charge and health care programs. The fact sheet also assesses the potential impacts on immigrant access to health care in California.
The Final Public Charge Rule Is Out. Here’s How It Affects Immigrants.
How Trump’s New Rule on Immigrants Endangers Public Health
The Department of Homeland Security finalized radical changes to immigration rules that go against America’s traditional values of inclusion. The San Francisco Chronicle published this opinion piece by CHCF’s CEO Sandra R. Hernández.
Safety Net Access in the Context of the Public Charge Rule
This Urban Institute brief shares insights from in-depth interviews conducted in March 2019 with 25 adults in immigrant families who reported that they or a family member avoided safety net programs like Medicaid, SNAP, or housing assistance in 2018 because of immigration concerns. The study highlights fear and confusion about the proposed public charge rule, a reliance on the media for information with few people seeking professional advice, and hardship for children and adults after losing access to public supports.
One in Seven Adults in Immigrant Families Reported Avoiding Public Benefit Programs in 2018
In this brief, the Urban Institute uses data from the December 2018 Well-Being and Basic Needs Survey to provide the first systematic documentation of the number of immigrant families avoiding public benefit programs due to fear of the pending public charge rule.
Proposed Public Charge Rule Would Hurt Californians
How Would Proposed Changes to the “Public Charge” Rule Affect Your Region?
The UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and Education estimates, for each California region and county, how changes to the “public charge” test could impact enrollment in Medi-Cal and/or CalFresh, jobs, economic output, and tax revenue. Use this PDF to see how your area could be affected.