The Public Charge Rule & IWS

We have been receiving concerns from our patients expressing fear of obtaining health services due to a proposed change to the public charge rules. As an organization, we want to let our patients know that their legal status does not limit prevent them from receiving quality health care from our organization.

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Written by Cassandra Lopez

What is the Public Charge Rule? 

In 2018, the Department of Homeland Security proposed a rule that would change the definition of who is considered a “public charge.”   

What is “public charge? How does this impact immigrant families?  

Public Charge is a term used in immigration law that refers to a person who primarily depends on the government for things like food and health care. If the new rule is passed, the public charge would be used to determine how many public programs immigrants will have access to.  

For example, if a person with an immigrant status applies for a green card to become a lawful permanent resident, an immigration official looks at the person’s life situations to calculate if the person is likely to depend on governments programs in the future.  

What would immigration officials look at?  

The officials would take into consideration the person’s age, health, family, financial status, education, skills. If the official determines that the person is likely to become a public charge, they can deny the person’s application to receive a green card.  

What are we doing to help?  

The Angel Harvey Family Health Center of the Infant Welfare Society of Chicago has recently partnered with the National Immigrant Justice Center. Our partnership will benefit our patients by providing resources for undocumented families to learn ways on how they can continue to receive support. Our goal is to continue to provide great health services to people from the community to accommodate them no matter their citizenship status. If you do not have private health insurance, or you do not have access to public programs such as Medicare or Medicaid, you are still welcome at Angel Harvey Family Health Center. We work with our patients to set up a payment option that best fits their financial and citizenship status.