Identifying Effects of Proposed Public Charge Rules on the Wellbeing of Immigrant Families and Children and State Policies to Protect Access to Public Safety Net Supports

Awarded Scholars:
Ajay Chaudry, New York University
Sherry Glied , New York University
Project Date:
Jul 2019
Award Amount:
Project Programs:
Immigration and Immigrant Integration

In October 2018, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register that would discourage low-income immigrant families’ and individuals’ from accessing public safety net benefits to which they are entitled. Under the proposed redefinition of “public charge,” many immigrants could be prevented from attaining lawful permanent residence if they are using or have used one or more public benefits, including most Medicaid-covered care, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, or “food stamps”), housing assistance, and Medicare Part D prescription medicines for the elderly. To better understand the expected impacts from the public charge rulemaking and the resulting changes in immigrant families’ behaviors around program use, public policy scholar Ajay Chaudry and economist Sherry Glied will examine changes in the use of Medicaid/CHIP and food stamps (SNAP), in health care utilization, and health outcomes for immigrant families and children following the release of the NPRM and issuance of a final rule. They will also investigate state policy responses to potential changes in program participation and benefit use.


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