This rule will go into effect February 24, 2020; the U.S. Supreme Court lifted the injunction that had halted the Trump Administration’s draconian changes to the Public Charge rule from going into effect, meaning in all states but Illinois this rule is now in effect.
Historically, the Public Charge rule has been used to deny permanent residency (green card) status to individuals who rely primarily upon cash benefits or long term public health benefits for their support. The Trump Administration’s changes broaden the rule to include non-cash benefits and also extend the pool of impacted individuals to foreign nationals seeking to enter the U.S. The Public Charge rule is used in certain immigration cases to determine who can be denied permanent residency (green card) status based on their use of certain public benefits as their main source of support. The Public Charge rule is also used to determine eligibility for foreign nationals to enter the U.S. The Trump Administration’s changes broaden this rule widely to make it easier to rule a person a “public charge” and deny them status.
Above all, the change to the Public Charge rule is designed to stoke fear and confusion among immigrant communities. Since the announcement of the changes CIR members are concerned that patients will be too afraid to continue accessing public benefits, including medical care.
As a physician and a CIR member your voice and action is crucial to winning the fight to have the Public Charge rule overturned for good.
Below is information on how you can help your patients and community with this fight.
While the fight to overturn the changes continues right now, you and your patients need to know:
1. The rule only applies to a small group of immigration cases and specific public benefits – patients should seek legal advice about their specific status before they consider making any changes to their medical care or their use of other public benefits
2. Anyone who is concerned about their status and the rule change should seek legal help from a reputable immigration attorney. CIR and our partners recommend the New Americans Hotline 1-800-566-7636.
For CIR members like yourself to be able to provide the best possible care to your patients they need to be free from fear of seeking medical care. As CIR continues the fight with our community partners to see the Trump Administration’s Public Charge rule overturned for good, we need your help and we need to continue to hear the stories of the effects of this rule on your patients. If you or your colleagues are hearing or seeing confusion, fear, or concern from your patients and their families please let your CIR delegates and Organizer know and share your story here.
Do you have an experience, patient, friend/family member who has been impacted by the Public Charge? Please let us know how this is impacting you by submitting your story here. (If concerned about your identity or that of your patients, you can submit your story anonymously.)