CFPA Statement on Supreme Court Decision to Allow Public Charge Rule

Published on Jan 28, 2020 in Federal Advocacy, Immigrants

Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled to allow the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to implement its public charge rule while several lawsuits against the regulation play out in the lower courts.

Implementation begins February 24th, 2020. Only applications submitted on or after February 24th will be subject to the new rule. The test is not retroactive. DHS can only consider one of the newly added benefits received on or after February 24th.

We are deeply disappointed in the court’s decision. Allowing these changes to take effect will only worsen the chilling effect harming California, and beyond. When people in our communities fear seeking help to buy food, or meet other basic needs, the health and well-being of our entire state suffers.

Immigrant Californians are Californians–we refuse to let hateful, racist policy define who is allowed to thrive in this country. CFPA remains committed to working in coalition with partners to defend immigrants’ right to food, housing, and health care.

The fight is not over.

Multiple lawsuits challenging the rule’s legality are still being heard in district courts. A favorable decision in one of these cases could potentially overturn the regulation.

Many immigrants are not affected by the rule change.

Most immigrants who are subject to public charge are not eligible for the programs listed in the rule. Yet, understandably, many eligible people are avoiding public programs. That is by design. This rule was intended to make entire communities feel unsafe seeking government assistance. That’s why facts are our best defense.


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Fight fear with facts.

Use the screening tool to determine whether an individual could be affected by public charge. Refer potentially affected persons to one of these qualified providers.

Join the coalition!

Organizations and individuals across California are working in coalition to mitigate the harm of public charge changes. Join the fight–join the California Protecting Immigrant Families coalition(CA-PIF).


Questions? Contact: Gabby Tilley at 213.254.5123


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