Last week, The U.S. Supreme Court lifted the injunction against the “public charge” rule. It will take effect on Feb. 24, 2020. The controversial rule would potentially deny legal immigrants green cards or change in their immigration status if they receive government benefits, notably Medicaid. The rule is aimed at discouraging low-income immigrants from using government programs, including food stamps and housing assistance, lest they be considered a “public charge.”
The rule is terrible public policy, as we noted in our 2018 comment letter opposing the rule. It will increase uninsured rates and in turn trigger a rise in uncompensated care costs, potentially destabilizing hospitals, particularly in more rural areas. More to the point, the rule’s impact undermines immigrants’ ability to lead healthy, productive lives, and the rule will have a chilling effect far beyond those directly subject to it. The fight over this rule is not over. The litigation, which Washington state is co-leading a plaintiff, continues. Click here for a fact sheet about the rule’s public charge test. Additional information is available from the Protecting Immigrant Families Campaign.