The Administration has issued a proposed rule that would radically alter the “public charge” test used in certain immigration proceedings. The proposed rule would dramatically expand the definition of “public charge” that has been in effect for almost twenty years, from someone who has become or is likely to become primarily dependent on the government for support through cash assistance or long-term institutionalization to include anyone who is likely to use not only cash assistance, but also health, nutrition, and housing assistance benefits. The proposed rule would also treat a number of factors, including income, age, family size, English proficiency, and having a health condition, in an unprecedented way as part of the public charge test.
NWLC submitted comments to the Department of Homeland Security asserting that the proposed rule represents a radical change in current policy that is antithetical to our values and would have a harmful impact on individuals, families, and our communities. NWLC’s comment described in detail the disproportionate impact the proposed rule would have on immigrants who are women and people of color, and their families.