Unidos for immigrant families: An update on the public charge rule

Unidos for our community

Since day one of their administration, it has been obvious that the Trump presidency’s cruelty toward our community knows no bounds. We now see another example of this in the administration’s efforts to radically reshape the face of this country with the “public charge” rule it has just released.

On August 14, the public charge final rule was posted by the Department of Homeland Security to go into effect on October 15. As we noted in a statement when the proposal surfaced last September, while a “public charge” policy has existed in the past, the Trump administration’s rule takes it far beyond its original purpose.

Keep up with the latest from UnidosUS

Sign up for the weekly UnidosUS Action Network newsletter delivered every Thursday.

The public charge rule targets non-cash assistance programs like SNAP, non-emergency Medicaid for non-pregnant adults, and some housing programs, as opposed to cash only, as the policy had been applied in the past. For more details on the changes we encourage you to read this excellent summary by our partners at CLINIC.

And as UnidosUS President and CEO Janet Murguía and National Urban League President and CEO Marc Morial noted in a blog post last December, the policy, in effect, amounts to  a new wealth test designed to target immigrants from working class backgrounds – including many living in mixed status households in the United States.



The lengths that this administration will go to instill fear and chaos in our community has no bounds. The #PublicCharge rule is the latest effort in the president’s “shadow war” to reshape the face of America, as UnidosUS Senior Policy Advisor Carlos Guevara wrote in July 2018. The rule puts the health and well-being of American children living in mixed-immigration status at risk. Everyone should fight this unjust, bigoted, and counterproductive regulation.

What’s worse, this rule comes on the heels of the largest worksite raid in decades in Mississippi this past week, and the shocking domestic terror shooting in El Paso, Texas that was a deliberate attack against Latinos.

The potential consequences of this rule are profound and worrisome. This policy will force immigrant families – including many mixed status Latino households – to choose between the health and nutrition of  their children and obtaining a green card. It has the potential to reshape the face of legal immigration to the United States for decades to come.

And it’s clear that this rule goes against the wishes of many in this country. We in UnidosUS are part of the Protecting Immigrant Families coalition that gathered public comments from over 266,000 people and organizations, which overwhelmingly were against the proposal. Now the fight continues to stand up for immigrant and mixed-status families.


We still have several weeks before it takes effect. Use this link from the Protecting Immigrant Families coalition to access important analysis and research that can help you better advocate for our friends and neighbors across the country.

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS: Regardless of their immigration status, all people in the U.S. have certain rights and protections provided by the Constitution. Advocates and the general public can use and share these resources to ensure these rights are asserted and respected. LEARN MORE

PROTECTING IMMIGRANT FAMILIES: See events and opportunities to take action. LEARN MORE

You might also be interested in: