Skip to content
CityLab
Justice

How Rule Changes About Public Benefits Could Affect Immigrants

The Trump administration announced changes to the “public charge” rule that will prevent immigrants who access government services from staying in the U.S.
Asylum-seekers sit in Matamoros, Mexico, waiting to enter the U.S.
Asylum-seekers sit in Matamoros, Mexico, waiting to enter the U.S.Emilio Espejel/File/AP

In a move that could curb legal immigration into the U.S. and deter millions of immigrants already in the country from accessing public health, housing, and food assistance benefits, the Department of Homeland Security announced a change to the “public charge” rule on Monday.

The government already has measures in place to block people who may become dependent on government services—potential public charges—from entering the country, but DHS’s new rule would make the requirements even more stringent. Immigrants who receive food stamps, Section 8 housing assistance, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicaid, and parts of Medicare could be denied green cards, visa extensions, and immigration status changes.*