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Leah Zallman, Karen Finnegan, David Himmelstein, Steffie Woolhandler. Changing Public Charge Immigration Rules: The Potential Impact on Children Who Need Care. Issue Brief, California Health Care Foundation 2018.


The Trump administration published on October 10 a proposed rule change (PDF)
that would increase the chance of an immigrant being determined to be a public charge and therefore being denied legal permanent residency or entry to the US. The proposed rule instructs immigration officials to take a broadened array of public benefits — including health and nutrition programs such as Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) — into consideration,
along with other factors, when making public charge determinations. The proposed changes are expected to cause large numbers of immigrant parents
to disenroll themselves and their children from safety-net programs, in large part due to fear and confusion over the rule even among immigrant families
to whom the rule does not apply. There have been reports that this is already occurring.