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Project Details

ICH is designing and leading this research, which is supported by the Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA) Foundation. In October 2018, the Trump administration published a proposed rule change that would increase the chance of an immigrant being deemed a ‘public charge’ and thereby denied legal permanent residency or entry to the US. The proposed changes were temporarily blocked by courts prior to their planned October 15, 2019 implementation.  Regardless of their implementation, these changes are expected to cause many immigrant parents to disenroll their families from safety-net programs, in large part due to fear and confusion over the rule even among families to whom the rule does not technically apply (known as ‘chilling effects’). ICH will conduct a series of focus groups with immigrant communities in Eastern Massachusetts in English, Spanish and Portuguese to examine the impact of the proposed ‘public charge’ rule on health, healthcare utilization and benefits enrollment.  ICH will analyze the findings and submit the results as a peer-reviewed manuscript. This qualitative project complements recent quantitative research ICH has published examining possible impacts of the ‘public charge’ rule.