Yesterday, President Joe Biden signed an Executive Order directing federal agencies to review Trump public charge regulations that have caused millions in immigrant families to forego vital health and economic support services. Nourish California applauds the Biden administration for acting to reverse the dangerous policy, particularly at this critical moment in the pandemic when public trust in government is essential to a successful COVID-19 mitigation and vaccine rollout.
This is an important first step in repairing the damage done by this and other policy attacks on immigrants, but it can’t undo the hardship forced upon millions in immigrant families who disenrolled from CalFresh or dropped health coverage in an effort to protect their futures in the U.S. And while the pre-Trump public charge guidance was less harmful, it too discouraged immigrants’ use of public services and made it difficult for low-income immigrants to gain legal permanent status. This Order puts us on a more humane path, with much work ahead.
We are heartened by the Biden administration’s stated commitment to strengthening immigrant integration and inclusion, along with taking actions to combat hunger. We look forward to working alongside the administration to implement equitable policies that target relief and opportunity to immigrants and all people harmed by racist, classist policies.
Complete reversal of the policy could take months — thawing the chilling effect will take longer. Nourish California will continue working in collaboration with the Protecting Immigrant Families coalition to heal the harm of public charge, however long it takes. You can help by sharing the Immigrant Health Community Packet.
Webinar Recording: Policy and Practice Opportunities to Support Children of Immigrants
Public Charge Rule In Effect: Help Inform with New Immigrant Health Resource
Federal Appeals Court Allows Public Charge Implementation in Most States, Including California