KEJC Stands Against New Public Charge Rule

The Trump administration's discriminatory and harmful new public charge rule is set to take effect October 15th, but it is not going unchallenged. Public servants, advocates, and regular people all over the country are standing up, speaking out, and fighting back to protect immigrant families and our country’s future. Kentucky Equal Justice Center and Maxwell Street Legal Clinic stand with them.


Public charge is a long-standing rule that allows immigration officers to deny entrance or permanent residency to immigrants who may become “primarily dependent” on the government for support. The new rule dramatically expands who could be considered a public charge, which sends a message to America and the world that you are not welcome here if you are not white and wealthy.


The new rule is not yet in effect. It will only apply to applications submitted on or after October 15, 2019, and will NOT apply to all immigrants. Every immigration situation is different. Consult with an immigration attorney before changing, cancelling or applying for any public benefits. You can reach Maxwell Street Legal Clinic’s immigration attorneys at 859-233-3840.


According to a Manatt Health analysis, as many as 26 million people in families with immigrants might be too afraid to participate in programs that make their families healthier and stronger due to the rule. This chilling effect is already dissuading immigrants and their family members from using public benefits. The Urban Institute reported a chilling effect on 1 out of 5 low-income immigrant families.


Notes for immigrants:

  • The new public charge rule does not take effect until October 15, 2019, and does not look at expanded benefits received before that date.

  • Strong privacy rules protect your information when visiting the doctor or hospital or applying for health insurance.

  • You may still be eligible for state funded programs. This rule only affects federal programs.

  • Figure out your eligibility. Talk with program specialists and an immigration attorney.


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