Community Guide on “Public Charge”

On Jan­u­ary 27th, 2020 the Supreme Court tem­porar­i­ly lift­ed nation­wide court orders that kept the Trump Admin­is­tra­tion’s pro­posed “pub­lic charge” reg­u­la­tion from tak­ing effect.  This inher­ent­ly dis­crim­i­na­to­ry reg­u­la­tion can now go into effect nation­wide in all states except Illi­nois, where a statewide injunc­tion blocks it.

The “pub­lic charge” reg­u­la­tion expands the def­i­n­i­tion of pub­lic charge and tar­gets any­one who uses applic­a­ble health, nutri­tion, or hous­ing sup­port pro­grams. If the gov­ern­ment deter­mines that some­one is like­ly to become a “pub­lic charge,” that per­son can be refused law­ful per­ma­nent res­i­dence (“green card”),change/extension of non-immi­grant visas, or entry into the U.S.

Details on exact­ly how this reg­u­la­tion will be imple­ment­ed have not yet been revealed.  How­ev­er, those most direct­ly impact­ed by the reg­u­la­tion will be low­er income immi­grants of col­or, includ­ing South Asians:

  • Near­ly 472,000 or 10% of the approx­i­mate­ly five mil­lion South Asians in the U.S. live in pover­ty.
  •  Among South Asian Amer­i­cans, Pak­ista­nis (15.8%), Nepali (23.9%), Bangladeshis (24.2%), and Bhutanese (33.3%) had the high­est pover­ty rates.
  •  Over 10% of green card recip­i­ents in FY 2016 were from South Asian coun­tries.
  •  Bangladeshi and Nepali com­mu­ni­ties have the low­est medi­an house­hold incomes out of all Asian Amer­i­can groups, earn­ing $49,800 and $43,500 respectively.3
  • Near­ly 61% of non-cit­i­zen Bangladeshi Amer­i­can fam­i­lies receive pub­lic ben­e­fits for at least one of the four fed­er­al pro­grams includ­ing TANF, SSI, SNAP, and Medicaid/CHIP, 48% of non-cit­i­zen Pak­istani fam­i­lies and 11% of non-cit­i­zen Indi­an fam­i­lies also receive pub­lic ben­e­fits.

Please fol­low updates via this resource from Pro­tect­ing Immi­grant Fam­i­lies.