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Proposed Public Charge Rule

Office of Immigrant Relations October 10, 2018 Public Charge: What You Should Know FACT SHEET (NOT LEGAL ADVICE) What is Public Charge? “Public Charge” is a term used in immigration law to refer to a person who is likely to become primarily dependent on the government to meet his or her basic needs. What Benefits are Considered under Public Charge NOW? Only two types of benefits are considered now:  Federal/State/Local Cash assistance programs such as, CalWorks, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and General Assistance (GA)  Long-Term Institutionalization at Government Expense The White House is PROPOSING to change the Public Charge rule to expand the types of public assistance programs counted when making the determination if an immigrant could become a Public Charge. The PROPOSED rule includes: The proposal expands the types of government-funded public assistance programs that the Federal Government could consider when making a Public Charge determination, these include: Who is affected by the PROPOSED rule? The changes proposed would apply to immigrants who are:  Applying to be lawful permanent residents (LPR or green card)  Legal permanent residents, but have been out of the country for more than 6-months and are seeking to return to the US  Others who are seeking admission into the US  Federal/State/Local Cash assistance programs including:  CalWorks  Supplemental Security Income (SSI)  General Assistance (GA)  Long-Term Institutionalization at Government Expense  Health coverage through Medi-Cal (but not emergency Medi-Cal)  CalFresh (formerly known as food stamps)  Low Income Subsidy for prescription drug costs under Medicare Part D  Rental assistance under Section 8 housing vouchers, Project Based Section 8, and Public Housing The PROPOSED rule would not apply to certain groups including: The changes proposed would not apply to the following groups:  Refugees  Asylees  Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)  Special immigrant juveniles  Survivors of trafficking, domestic violence, or other serious crimes Office of Immigrant Relations October 10, 2018


How will the PROPOSED rule affect me? There are many factors taken into consideration and information reviewed by immigration in determining if a person might be considered a public charge. Factors considered include past and current use of public benefits, age, income, education and family status. Because of this, the decision must be made based on a person’s individual situation. When is this change happening? The exact date is uncertain, but any final rule change will take several months at a minimum. Once the proposal has been officially released the public will have an opportunity to comment. NOTHING HAS CHANGED AT THIS TIME If I am a non-citizen is there anything I should do now? At this time, because information is changing rapidly, contacting an attorney who can discuss your specific situation is the best approach. What do I do or where do I go if I have any questions? If you have specific questions about your or your family’s situation, consult an immigration attorney. The County has created and posted a list of free and low-cost immigrant legal service providers serving Santa Clara County residents that can be found at Where do I find more information about other immigration-related resources? For resources or information about other immigration related resources you can visit the Office of Immigrant Relations website page at Where do I find more information about the proposed rule? For more detailed or additional information about the public charge rule, you can visit any of the following organizations or websites: Santa Clara County Public Charge page at, the Immigrant Legal Resource Center at or Protecting Immigrant Families Advancing Our Future at County of Santa Clara Office of Immigrant Relations How and where can I comment about the proposed rule? On October 10 the public charge proposed rule was posted for the public to comment. You may submit your comments online by visiting the Federal Register at the National Archives. You can comment between now and December 10, 2018


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