The "Public Charge" Rule, and What it Means for Immigrant Families

The Trump administration has released the long-awaited full version of the proposed changes to the "public charge" rule. The impact of the rule would be to force immigrant families to choose between receiving vital federally-funded health, food and housing assistance or being eligible to apply for green cards or visas.

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The proposed rule would disproportionately harm women and children, and would widen the definition of public charge to include four additional types of public benefits: 

  • non-emergency Medicaid coverage, 

  • premium and cost-sharing assistance for low-income people receiving Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage, 

  • SNAP food assistance and housing assistance (i.e. Section 8 voucher and public housing)

  • and a new income requirement; immigrants must make at least 125% of the Federal Poverty Level.

Medicaid expansion has helped tens of thousands of Marylanders get access to vital health services in our state. Many of those are immigrants. ANY attempt to limit access to Medicaid services is a huge step backwards.

For more information on the impact of this damaging and inhumane policy, read the Kaiser Family Foundation report which estimates that the proposed rule could lead to between 2.1 to 4.9 million Medicaid/CHIP enrollees to disenroll. 


The 60 Day Comment Period Ends 12/10/18

  • It is critical to voice your opinions about these proposed changes! The Protecting Immigrant Families coalition has created an action page with guidance and a template that you can use to submit your comments, which can be accessed here.