Washington, D.C. — Today, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security published a new rule that restores long-standing standards for “public charge” determinations that were radically changed by the previous administration. This rule seeks to ensure that immigrants are not afraid to access basic health care, food, nutrition, and housing services for which their families qualify. In response, Silva Mathema, director of Immigration Policy, issued the following statement:
The prior administration’s public charge rule was an unacceptable “wealth test” that sought to exclude from the United States immigrants who were not likely to become a public charge. The prior administration’s rule had a devastating effect on immigrant families due to the fear of immigration consequences: A 2020 Urban Institute survey found that at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, immigrants avoided using critical safety net programs, such as nutrition programs, and avoided programs that were excluded from the rule, including medical care. Due to the previous rule’s chilling impacts, health centers even reported a decline in people coming in for basic health screenings.
We join our allies in applauding the Biden-Harris administration for taking this critical step toward restoring our nation’s values and building a more fair and just immigration system.
For more information or to speak to an expert, contact Julia Cusick at firstname.lastname@example.org.