Trump Administration Updates Immigration Policies on Public Charge
Tuesday, September 24, 2019
Section: September Associate Newsletter

In mid-August, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a final rule that could significantly reduce the number of people who claim certain benefits by expanding the grounds under which an individual seeking to obtain or renew legal permanent residency status could be deemed a burden to the federal government and denied a Green Card or permanent status. 

The final rule, which could take effect as early as mid-October, would require that legal immigrants or their family members who are receiving—or are considered at risk of needing in the future—support from federal programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), housing support and Medicaid, among others, would be considered a financial burden on the federal government.
While Older Americans Act programs are not included in the final rule, the policy would consider an individual's age, health and disability status in the public charge risk assessment process. Currently, more than a dozen states have filed lawsuits to prohibit the rule from taking effect, and more than 250,000 individuals and organizations, including n4a, submitted comments opposing the proposed rule. n4a's December 2018 letter to DHS raised concerns about the discriminatory nature of the rule against older immigrants and people with disabilities, as well as the impact that the policy could have on direct-care workers who are immigrants, and who currently comprise 25 percent of the direct-care workforce.  

n4a and other national organizations are still analyzing the final rule and will make additional information available as we have it. If your organization has questions or concerns about how this rule could affect older adults and caregivers that you serve, please reach out to