As the result of actions taken by the Biden Administration, the Trump-era public charge rule is no longer in effect. Immigrants and their families can seek medical care, including testing and treatment for COVID-19, without fearing immigration consequences due to public charge. The Biden Administration proposed a new regulation on February 24, 2022, which is being finalized.
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 of resources was originally designed to highlight the potential impact that the Trump-era public charge rule could have on the ability of immigrants to access the health and social services they need. These resources can be used as references for commenting on the Biden Administration’s new proposed regulation.
Despite Documented Status, Many California Immigrants Have Negative Perceptions or Experiences of Public Charge Policy
Data from the Research on Immigrant Health and State Policy Study (RIGHTS) shows the experiences and perceptions among adult Latinx and Asian immigrants in California regarding the federal public charge policy.
Keep Your Benefits CA
This website (also available in Chinese and Spanish) is designed to help immigrant families get the basic information they need about the public charge rule. It includes screening tools that help the user understand how accessing public benefits may affect immigration status (their own or that of a friend of family member), which benefits are safe to use, and when and how to seek legal advice.
Message Testing to Combat Public Charge’s Chilling Effect in California
Three in 10 Adults in California Immigrant Families with Low Incomes Avoided Safety Net Programs in 2020
This Urban Institute study explores the extent to which California immigrant families avoided public benefits in 2020 due to green card or other immigration concerns.
One in Six Adults in California Immigrant Families Avoided Public Benefits in 2019, Study Finds
Five Victories for Public Health: Courts Enjoin the Public Charge Rule
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.
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.
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.
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.
Select Comments Opposing Proposed Public Charge Regulation
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.
Proposed Public Charge Rule Would Hurt Californians
Comments on Proposed Regulation — Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds
Public Charge Rule Could Prompt Up to 455,000 California Kids Who Need Care to Leave Medi-Cal
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.