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HANYS Opposes DHS “Public Charge” Proposal

In a comment letter submitted to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security this week, HANYS expressed strong opposition to the agency’s proposal to expand the types of benefits considered as part of a public charge determination, which is used to decide an individual’s admissibility to enter the United States or obtain legal permanent resident status. “HANYS is extremely concerned that these changes, if finalized, would have grave and far-reaching consequences that span well beyond the individuals directly targeted by the proposed rule,” the letter states.

Under long-standing existing immigration law and guidance, certain individuals who are deemed likely to become a “public charge,” or primarily dependent on the government for financial support, can be denied admission to the United States or the ability to become a lawful permanent resident.

The proposed rule would make significant changes to the standard DHS uses to make public charge determinations, and, in doing so, it would influence use of certain crucial benefits, including Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, by immigrants and their citizen family members.

Citing major concerns with the proposal’s threat to healthcare coverage, public health outcomes and financial strain on hospitals and health systems caring for vulnerable populations, HANYS urged DHS not to finalize the proposed rule. Contact: Elyse Oveson

Published December 7, 2018