Noncitizens seeking admission to the U.S., noncitizens applying for lawful permanent resident status (green card), or those seeking an extension of, or changes to, their non-immigrant status are subject to a review to determine whether they are or might become a “public charge” – someone primarily dependent on the government for subsistence.
Currently, three programs are covered under the public charge policy, TANF, SSI, and emergency-Medicaid. The proposed rule would add to the definition of public charge the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher, Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance, and Public Housing programs, as well as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, or food stamps), Non-emergency Medicaid, the Medicare Part D Low Income Subsidy, and institutionalization for long-term care at government expense. DHS is also considering adding the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to the list.
The proposed rule would adopt a new income threshold that households would have to exceed to avoid being considered a public charge: an immigrant would have to earn at least 125% of the federal poverty level. The proposed rule would also negatively consider applicants with limited English proficiency (LEP) or with physical or mental health conditions that could affect their ability to work, attend school, or care for themselves.
The Protecting Immigrant Families (PIF) Campaign, co-chaired by the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) and the National Immigration Law Center (NILC), have launched a new website that includes a partner toolkit comment FAQ, analysis of the proposed changes to the public charge rule, and a comprehensive promotional toolkit for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram that has sample graphics and text for social media and email.
PIF released a statement opposing the proposed public charge rule signed by more than 1,500 organizations, including NLIHC, across all fifty states and DC.
The PIF website is at: https://protectingimmigrantfamilies.org
The proposed rule is at: https://bit.ly/2RGm2rw
An easier-to-read, but 434-page version is at: https://bit.ly/2IRcsOD