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Fighting Against Harmful New “Public Charge” Rules That Target Low-Income Immigrants

The Trump Administration has proposed harmful new rules governing "public charge," a ground of inadmissibility that can be used to deny either admission to the U.S. or adjustment of status to lawful permanent resident status ("LPR" or "green card" status), where the application is based on certain family relationships.

Under the current rules, relatively few applications for admission and adjustment are denied on public charge grounds. The proposed new rules would dramatically expand the scope of "public charge" in ways that are likely to have both direct and indirect impacts on our clients.

The Legal Aid Society is working with City, State and national partners to fight this policy, including the national Protecting Immigrant Families campaign ("PIF"). You can read the PIF campaign's statement on public charge, signed by over 1,500 organizations from around the country here. Comments on the proposed rules are due to DHS by December 10, 2018.

For more Information on the Proposed Rule 
For more information on the proposed new rules, which are not yet in effect, see our Practice Advisory: Proposed Rule Changes on Public Charge by clicking the button below.  

Return to this space for versions of our Practice Advisory in multiple languages and additional useful materials.

Screening Tool and Attorney Referral Information

The Legal Aid Society, in partnership with the Empire Justice Center and Make The Road New York, has created a screening tool to assist attorneys, advocates, and other community-based providers with answering client questions about the proposed “public charge” rules, as well as to provide referral information for additional assistance. Click the button on the right to download the tool.

On December 10, 2018, The Legal Aid Society shared public comments on the proposed rule changes governing public charge with the Department of Homeland Security, available here.  As we stated in the comments:

“The Proposed Rule already has and will continue to make immigrant families even more fearful of accessing the critical government benefits for which Congress made them eligible, and thereby devastate the health and economic security of individuals and families and the communities we all share. . . . The Legal Aid Society’s Comments focus on the community we have served for over 140 years – New York City.”

How to Get Help:
Clients who need more information on public charge and how it applies to them can call our Immigration Helpline at 844-955-3425, Monday-Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

“The rule represents a brazen attempt to lay down the welcome mat for only the rich, while slamming the door on other immigrants. If adopted, the rule would dissuade immigrants who are here lawfully from accessing essential medical care and basic food assistance for their families. Simply put: the rule amounts to another attempt by the Trump Administration to tear families apart. As we have with other Trump Administration attacks on immigrants - from the Muslim ban to its cruel child separation policy — we will continue to push back on these xenophobic policies that marginalize our clients and other New Yorkers.”

Hasan Shafiqullah, the Attorney-in-Charge of The Legal Aid Society’s Immigration Law Unit