Gary Community Investments, The Colorado Health Foundation, and The Colorado Trust Oppose Proposal to Change Public Charge Definition

Thursday, December 6, 2018

CAF members The Colorado Trust and The Colorado Health Foundation, submitted a joint letter to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, opposing its proposed rule change to the so-called “public charge” assessment. Colorado’s two largest health foundations spoke out against the changes on the grounds that it would “severely jeopardize the health of children in the U.S.” by reducing access to healthcare services, nutritious foods, and safe and stable housing.

Under federal immigration law, the term “public charge” is used to describe a person that is dependent on government-funded cash assistance or institutionalization for the majority of his or her support. If it is determined that an individual is likely to become a “public charge,” their application to enter the U.S. or become a permanent resident may be denied.

Gary Community Investments earlier filed public comments on the proposed federal rule change. GCI opposes the regulations because they have the potential to affect more than 300,000 Coloradans, including 143,000 children. Click here to learn more about GCI’s position and how to submit a comment to the federal register before the Monday, December 10 deadline.

The new proposal broadens the definition of “public charge” by including non-emergency Medicaid, Medicare low-income subsidy, SNAP, and Section 8 public housing, among others. This public charge test is not applied to certain statuses of immigration, including refugees, asylees, and victims of trafficking. It also is not applied to those seeking to apply for U.S. citizenship. To learn more about potential impacts of these proposed regulations, the Colorado Center on Law and Policy has created a Public Charge Fact Sheet.

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