The Fight Against The Public Charge Rule Persists

By Eduardo Garcia


Madison Allen, senior policy attorney for the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), said the reality is that few people who are subject to the public charge test qualify for public programs covered by the DHS rule. In addition, the rule expands to age, credit score and disability.

She also said immigrant families should not disenroll in any public program without consulting an immigration attorney if necessary.

Allen has four key messages for communities:

  1. Many immigrants will not be affected by the DHS final rule. These include refugees, asylees, survivors of trafficking, domestic violence, other serious crimes and other humanitarian immigrants. Lawful permanent residents or green card holders are not affected unless they leave the United States for over 180 days and then seek to come back.
  2. The use of public benefits will not automatically make someone a public charge. Immigration officials must look at all of an individual’s circumstances in determining if they are likely to be a public charge in the future. The circumstances include age, health, income, assets, resources, education, affidavits of support and family household size, including any immediate family members, as well as others that the applicant supports. Positive factors such as having a job or having health insurance can weigh against negative factors, such as having a health condition. Each individual has a chance to show why he or she is not likely to rely on certain benefits in the future.


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