The Department of Homeland Security’s “public charge” rule directs immigration officials to reject applications from individuals who seek to remain in or enter the U.S. lawfully if they have received — or are judged more likely than not to receive in the future — any of an array of public benefits that are tied to need. The rule will make it harder for those currently of modest means to gain lawful entry or permission to remain in the country as a permanent resident and it will make immigrant families fear receiving benefits such as SNAP, Medicaid, and housing assistance that can help them make ends meet and access health care when their low pay is not enough. Many will forgo assistance altogether, resulting in more economic insecurity and hardship, with long-term negative consequences, particularly for children.

Learn more from our colleagues at First Focus and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.