Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition

Public Charge: What you need to know and how to take action

As of Oct. 14, 2019, this rule has been temporarily halted by the courts.

The Department of Homeland Security final public charge rule was published on Aug. 14, 2019. The policy will not take effect until Oct. 15, 2019.

What is the new Public Charge Rule? The new public charge rule expands the existing public charge doctrine, making it even more difficult for immigrants to obtain green cards and keep their families together. Under the new rule, the use of a wide range of public benefits, including Medicaid and SNAP, will be counted against individuals applying for a green card. The rule does not apply to every immigrant.

This rule was designed to be confusing, complicated, and scary. Anyone who thinks this rule change might apply to them should talk to a trusted adviser who is familiar with both public benefits and immigration law before dis-enrolling from any public benefits program.

PICC and Community Legal Services of Philadelphia are partnering to ensure immigrant and refugee communities in PA are receiving up-to-date information about the potential impact of this rule.

What You Can Do:

  1. Educate Yourself
    1. Learn from experts about what the rule means:
      1. Watch webinar with presenters from Community Legal Services-Philadelphia and HIAS Pennsylvania
      2. Download the slides attached
      3. Download the attached materials
    2. Download materials from the Protecting Immigrant Families Campaign
      1. Community education flyers in EnglishSpanishChineseHindiArabic, and soon to be more!
  2. Educate Your Community
    1. Host community education sessions
    2. Write letters to the editor
  3. Advocate!
    1. Members of Congress can take action by cosponsoring HR 3222, the No Federal Funds for Public Charge Act and speak out against this harmful rule change. Contact your representative today!
    2. Submit stories of how public charge impacts your community to be used in advocacy with public agencies and ongoing litigation.


Last updated Oct 15 2019