Trump Administration Releases Unofficial Proposed Changes to Public Charge

On Saturday, September 22, the Trump Administration released the text of proposed changes to how the federal government determines whether an immigrant is likely to become a “public charge.” Despite the public release of the text, the language has not officially been published by the Federal Register; therefore the 60-day window for public comments has not yet begun. In order for any changes to public charge to take effect, the following actions – which could take several months – must occur:

  • Proposed changes must be published by the Federal Register;
  • A 60-day comment period must occur;
  • The Administration must review submitted comments;
  • A final rule must be issued and will be deemed effective 60 days after the issuance of the final rule.

The proposed text expands the public charge test to include whether an immigrant is receiving one or more of the specified public benefits, which includes non-emergency Medicaid, Medicare Part D, housing subsidies and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Please note that while the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is contemplating additional benefits to be included, the current proposal does not include the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program.

CHEAC will provide an update once the Federal Register publishes the proposed changes and will monitor developments over the coming weeks. Should your local health departments have questions or concerns related to specific programs administered by your department, please contact the CHEAC Office at (916) 327-7540 or via email at Links to additional resources are provided below:

U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Protecting Immigrant Families