Public Charge Rule

Folleto sobre la carga pública en Español

On August 14, 2019, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a final rule related to public charge in the Federal Register. The rule will not take effect until October 15, 2019. Some counties immediately filed a lawsuit to block the new rule, and additional litigation is expected (which could delay implementation).

EBSC is committed to providing accurate, up-to-date information to our community members. We oppose this new rule, which will have a huge and detrimental impact on working families who are low-income, advanced age, and may be suffering from chronic illness.

This does not apply to people who gained humanitarian-based statuses such as refugees, asylees, SIJS, T visa, U visa VAWA, and Cuban Parolees, among other programs. The new regulation also excludes the receipt of Medicaid/MediCal for people under 21, pregnant women, and emergency services.

If you think this new rule applies to you, IT’S VERY IMPORTANT YOU SEEK ADVICE FROM A LAWYER BEFORE DIS-ENROLLING FROM PROGRAMS. Call EBSC at: 510-540-5296 or email: or come to our drop-in legal clinic at 2362 Bancroft Avenue in Berkeley.

What is the “public charge” rule and how might it affect you?

  • The new “public charge” rule would link a person’s immigration status to their income, age, educational attainment, health and use of certain public programs such as SSI, Food Stamps, TANF, Medicaid, and some housing programs. It would give the Department of Homeland Security authority to deny applicants green cards, visas, or entry into the U.S. if there is a risk they will use these government-funded programs.
  • This new rule primarily applies to people who are seeking residency through family petition. It also applies to permanent residents who seek readmission to the U.S. after traveling abroad 180 days or more while receiving public benefits, and a few more categories.
  • Even if you are applying for residency through your family member, most public benefit programs included in the new rule are not available to undocumented immigrants.
  • And of course, benefits received by your US citizen children and other family members don’t count.

For more information, please see excellent information developed by our friends at the Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) and check this website for updates.

Public Charge Flyer in English

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