• Public Charge and Immigration Resources

    What is Public Charge?

    “Public charge” is the term used to refer to an individual who is primarily dependent upon the federal government for subsistence. Under the public charge rule, individuals who are considered likely to become a public charge may be denied admission to the United States or may be denied permanent resident status.

    School services are NOT impacted by Public Charge!

    • Services for Asylees & Refugees
    • Medicaid/Medi-Cal for Children Under 21
    • Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
    • School Nutrition Programs
    • Head Start

    How is the rule changing?

    The new rule expands the types of assistance that will be considered when determining whether a person is considered to be a public charge. Going forward, services that are commonly used by people with disabilities will be considered in this determination. This means that individuals who use programs such as Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits (SNAP or food stamps), and Section 8 housing vouchers and project-based rental assistance might be more likely to be denied permanent resident status or have their citizenship denied.

    The potential impact

    Many children with disabilities receive health-care services through Medicaid, and many schools fund essential personnel — such as school nurses or counselors — through Medicaid. In order for a school to bill for Medicaid funds, parents must consent. If parents are fearful of the consequences, schools may be unable or less likely to bill for these services, thereby reducing essential health-related services in schools.