The Issue: Stop Rule to Bar Immigrant Medicaid and SNAP Users from Legal Residency Status  

REQUEST FOR ACTION: File a public comment with Department of Homeland Security in opposition to this proposed rule



The President has proposed a devastating and unnecessary expansion of the definition of “public charge” to undermine the ability of immigrants who are in the country legally to apply for lawful permanent residency (green card). Under the proposed rule, any past, present or even potential future enrollment in Medicaid, food aid,  and/or housing assistance programs could prevent immigrants from changing their immigration status and/or attaining legal residency.

This proposed rule could force many to choose between vital health care coverage and the ability to get a green card, for example. The most recent study of the rule finds that it could adversely affect the health coverage of over 13 million legal immigrants in the first year, with many millions more to follow. That will lead to a significant increase in the number of uninsured and billions of dollars in uncompensated care costs for hospitals.

Additionally, the proposed rule would punish low-income legal immigrants and trap them into a cycle of poverty. The regulation would make immigrant families afraid to seek access to healthy food, health care, and housing. This fear would extend far beyond people who may be subject to the “public charge” test. It would harm entire communities as well as the infrastructure that serves all of us. The proposed rule change will also put the nutrition, health, and well-being of families, including millions of children, at risk. Because disease knows no borders, fear of using health care services could result increased risk of communicable diseases for everyone.

As people of faith we are called to stand with our immigrant brothers and sisters. The proposed rule changes longstanding policy and dramatically reduces the ability of our immigrants to become citizens and contributing members of our society.

In the absence of any Congressional action, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has chosen to make this extensive policy change by administrative rule-making.  Members of the public have the right to submit “comments” on any proposed rule change before it becomes effective.

Please write your own personalized public comment opposing this rule change (called “Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds”) by going to the regulations website:

There you are supplied with space to write your comments, the choice of how much you want to make public,  and the ability to submit with a click.


December 5th, 2018