Final Public Charge Rule Continues Attack on Low-Income Immigrant Families

The Shriver Center on Poverty Law unreservedly condemns this inhumane and cruel rule.


August 13, 2019

Contact: Ishena Robinson
(P) 312-549-9879

Chicago, IL—The Trump Administration has moved forward with another cruel attack on immigrants and low-income people by releasing its final ‘public charge’ rule, a measure that will punish people seeking permanent resident status in the United States if they use—or are deemed likely to use in the future—public supports to meet their family’s basic health, housing, and nutrition needs.

The new rule, which is slated to come into effect on October 15, would also fundamentally make America’s immigration system more unjust and racially inequitable by penalizing people seeking legal status if they have disabilities or chronic illnesses, are young children or elderly, do not have a high school diploma, or do not speak English proficiently, along with a host of other so-called ‘negative factors’ that would count particularly against low-income people of color trying to attain the American dream.

The Shriver Center on Poverty Law unreservedly condemns this inhumane and cruel rule, which continues the Trump Administration’s demonization of immigrants of color, people who are low-income, and those who use safety nets such as Medicaid, SNAP, and housing assistance to fill the gaps resulting from systemic issues that leave many families unable to make ends meet.

“In the weeks and months to come, the Shriver Center plans to mobilize with state and national partners, including through our Legal Impact Network, Racial Justice Institute, and the national and Illinois Protecting Immigrant Families Coalitions, to vigorously stop this harmful rule from taking effect,” said Kate Walz, Vice President of Advocacy at the Shriver Center on Poverty Law.

The Shriver Center, along with partner organizations, impacted individuals, community members, advocates, health practitioners, and faith-leaders in Illinois and across the country, contributed to more than 260,000 comments submitted to the Federal Register last winter in overwhelming opposition to the then public charge rule proposal.

The release of the final rule comes on the heels of a horrific mass shooting which represented the manifestation of violent rhetoric targeting Hispanic and Latino communities, as well as a massive raid in Mississippi last week that left scores of children separated from their immigrant parents. No one should have to live in fear because of their racial identity or national origin, and no family should have to choose between meeting their basic needs and being with their loved ones.


The Shriver Center on Poverty Law fights for economic and racial justice. Over our 50-year history, we have secured hundreds of victories with and for people living in poverty in Illinois and across the country. Today, we litigate, shape policy, and train and convene multi-state networks of lawyers, community leaders, and activists nationwide. Together, we are building a future where all people have equal dignity, respect, and power under the law. Join the fight at

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