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Understanding the Public Charge Ruling and its Impact on the Health of Virginians

Yesterday the Trump administration's "public charge" rule took effect. The rule will affect approximately 10 million documented immigrants across the country, making it harder for immigrants to get a green card if they use public benefits like Medicaid or SNAP

While there are legal challenges still moving forward regarding the rule, the Supreme Court in January ruled that the Trump administration's “public charge” rule can take effect while legal challenges to it make their way through the courts system. Our partners at Families USA shared the following points regarding the “public charge” rule:

  • DHS’s Public Charge regulation does not affect all immigrants. Refugees, asylees, survivors of trafficking, domestic violence and other serious crimes, and other “humanitarian” immigrants are not affected.
  • Use of public benefits will not automatically make an immigrant a public charge. Immigration officials must look at all circumstances in determining whether someone is likely to become a public charge in the future.
  • Life-saving food and nutrition programs like WIC, CHIP, school lunches, food banks, shelters, childcare assistance and many more are not included in the public charge test.
  • Benefits that children receive will not count against an immigrant parent if their green card application is processed in the U.S.

While the rule is permitted to take effect, it is important to remember that this fight is by no means over. The appellate cases are moving on expedited schedules and could be decided within a couple of months.

For additional resources and more information on the public charge rule visit Families USA.