The Trump Administration’s #PublicCharge Rule

The Trump Administration’s new #PublicCharge rule is another cruel attempt by this President to restrict immigrants and their families from becoming American citizens.

Under longstanding policy, the United States government may deny anyone entry to the country or deny someone an adjustment of their legal permanent residence (“LPR” or “green card”) status if a determination is made that the person is a public charge of the government. For over a century, this inquiry has been incredibly limited and the federal government has, for the last few decades, explicitly stated that healthcare and safety net programs are not to be included in this inquiry.

Under the new rule, the Administration will have the authority to deny LPR to legal immigrants if they have used or have been considered likely to have used public assistance programs such as Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Section 8 housing, and the Medicare Part D Low-Income Subsidy Program.

This rule will likely lead to large numbers of legal immigrants and their families disenrolling from entitlement program for which they are still eligible. This rule presents a direct threat to the health of millions of immigrants, especially those in marginalized communities including LGBTQ people, people living with HIV, people of color, women, and youth. Coverage losses and the loss of access to essential healthcare and safety net programs will necessarily negatively affect the individual health and economic stability of those who disenroll and of the communities in which they live. Equitas Health stands by those affected by this xenophobic rule and urges the administration to reverse course.