Changes to the Public Charge Rule

On Oct. 11, 2019, New York Attorney General James secured a preliminary injunction to block the effective date of Trump’s changes to the public charge rule. Due to the successful injunction, the rule changes are NOT currently in effect. New Yorkers who have questions about the public charge rule should contact the Office for New Americans hotline at 1-800-566-7636 to receive more information.

Resources

We are currently updating our materials to reflect the injunction news. Will post our updated one-pager, translated into Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Arabic, Haitian Creole, French, Bengali and Hindi, as soon as possible.

To request a training at your organization about public charge and the proposed rule changes, fill out this training request form. For updated resources from the national Protecting Immigrant Families campaign, download them directly here. To join the campaign listserv, go here.

Background

On Aug. 14, 2019, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officially published changes to the public charge rule in the Federal Register. The rule will go into effect on Oct. 15, 2019. Immigrants who use certain public healthcare, food and housing benefits could be considered a “public charge” and see their applications for green cards or visas denied. New Yorkers who have questions about the new rule should contact the Office for New Americans hotline at 1-800-566-7636 to receive more information.

Most immigrants will continue to be exempt from the public charge determination, including:

  • Legal Permanent Residents (green card holders)
  • Refugees
  • Asylees
  • Special Immigrant Juveniles (SIJ)
  • T & U Visa holders
  • Victims of domestic violence (VAWA)
  • Other humanitarian statuses

Prior to the public charge rule changes, cash benefits and long-term medical care were the only public benefits considered as part of the “public charge” determination. The new rule will now include federally-funded Medicaid, SNAP and subsidized housing assistance. Public charge determinations are based on a “totality of circumstances,” which considers whether a person’s income, resources, age, family situation and health would lead to dependence on government assistance in the future. Enrolling in these benefits does not by itself make someone a public charge, and we encourage any concerned individual to consult an immigration or benefits expert before foregoing any programs. New Yorkers who have questions about the new rule can contact the Office for New Americans hotline at 1-800-566-7636 to receive more information and be connected to resources.

Need legal assistance?

Call the NYS Immigration Hotline at 1-800-566-7636 or view our directory of service providers here