Proposed public charge rule threatens health and economy

Call to action: learn why in next section

Deadline for public charge comments is 12/10. Every unique comment, individual or institutional, matters!

Submit comments: http://bit.ly/CommentCA

Deadline: December 10, 2018

Best practices for submitting comments (from UCLA Center for Health Policy Research):

  • Comments should be “unique” (>1/3 of words; start with your own)
  • Don’t submit comments in languages other than English
  • Don’t suggest corrections: Goal is to stop, not “fix”
  • Don’t mention programs NOT already included in the proposed rule (e.g., WIC, schools meals)
  • Do oppose the expansion of the rule to any of the proposed additional programs

Introduction (“learn why”)

On September 22, 2018, the Department of Homeland Security published proposed changes to immigration policy that would re-define what is a “public charge” in the qualification of individuals applying to immigrate to the U.S. (to join their family) or legal immigrants applying to change their status to legal permanent resident (LPR) (i.e., obtain a “green card”) [1].

“Aliens who seek adjustment of status or a visa, or who are applicants for admission, must establish that they are not likely at any time to become a public charge  Moreover, DHS proposes to require all aliens seeking an extension of stay or change of status to demonstrate that they have not received, are not currently receiving, nor are likely to receive, public benefits as defined in the proposed rule.” (emphasis added)

Table 1: Comparison of existing and proposed additions to “public charge” rules
1999 policy Proposed rule adds to 1999 policy
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) - same -
TANF1 (CalWorks in California) - same -
Cash assistance programs - same -
Long-term institutional care - same -
SNAP2 (CalFresh in California)
Section 8 Housing Voucher Program
Section 8 Rental Assistance
Medicaid (Medi-Cal in California)
Medicare Part D Low-Income Subsidy
Institutionalized long-term care
Subsidized public housing

Impact in California

From UCLA Center for Health Policy Research

Lives touched

  • Nearly 2.2 million Californians enrolled in CalFresh and/or in Medi-Cal
  • ~765,000 would disenroll from either program under 35% disenrollment scenario
  • Nearly 70% of lives touched are children; Mostly Latinos and Asians; 9 in 10 Latinos

Economic Impact

  • $718 million to $1.67 billion in lost federal benefits
  • 17,700 estimated lost jobs under 35% Disenrollment Scenario—47% in healthcare, 10% in food, 4% in real estate industries
  • $2.8 billion estimated lost output under 35% Disenrollment Scenario
  • $151 million in lost state and local tax revenue
  • All regions affected

Call to action

Deadline for public charge comments is 12/10. Every unique comment, individual or institutional, matters!

Submit comments: http://bit.ly/CommentCA

Deadline: December 10, 2018

Best practices for submitting comments (from UCLA Center for Health Policy Research):

  • Comments should be “unique” (>1/3 of words; start with your own)
  • Don’t submit comments in languages other than English
  • Don’t suggest corrections: Goal is to stop, not “fix”
  • Don’t mention programs NOT already included in the proposed rule (e.g., WIC, schools meals)
  • Do oppose the expansion of the rule to any of the proposed additional programs

Learn more

UCLA Center for Health Policy Research

Webinar: How Proposed Changes to the ‘Public Charge’ Rule will Affect California (Posted November 8, 2018)

Download slides here (PDF).

Bay Area Regional Health Inequities Initiative

Bay Area resource site here: http://barhii.org/immigration/

References

1. U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Proposed rule: Inadmissibility on public charge grounds [Internet]. 2018. Available from: https://www.dhs.gov/publication/proposed-rule-inadmissibility-public-charge-grounds


  1. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) “is a program for low income families with children. It provides cash benefits each month, and may also help you pay high housing costs. TANF is funded by the federal government, but each state sets up a program with rules specific to that state.”

  2. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) “offers nutrition assistance to millions of eligible, low-income individuals and families and provides economic benefits to communities. SNAP is the largest program in the domestic hunger safety net.”

Avatar
Tomás J. Aragón
Health Officer, City & County of San Francisco; Director, Population Health Division
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