Child Health

Take Action Against the Public Charge

November 1, 2018 | Texas

Friends and Partners of CDF,

It is time for action.

As you may know, we’ve been preparing for the Trump administration to publish changes to current regulations governing immigration as it relates to public benefits. This regulation is called the “public charge,” and the proposed rule change was published in mid October.



The new rule proposes the following changes to current regulations:

Legal immigrants applying for permanent residency could be denied if they have received the following benefits —

  • SNAP
  • Medicaid (non-emergency)
  • Medicare Part D subsidies
  • Housing assistance (i.e. Section 8 housing vouchers)

There is also a new income test for applications to adjust status, which requires that the immigrant — not just the sponsor — earn at least 125% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). And by weighing as “heavily positive” a household income of 250% FPL. This means a family of four would need to earn $63,000 per year to hit that threshold.

In short, this is an anti-immigrant, anti-working class policy proposal. The trauma this proposed rule is already causing to countless Texas children and families will have repercussions throughout our communities and will actively create a poorer, sicker, and less safe America. There is a fact report that explains the proposed regulation in greater detail, and I encourage you to read it here. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.

There is some good news — the rule is not final, and we are  fully committed to stopping this proposed regulation from being finalized.

We have a 60-day period in which our actions could determine the future for immigrant families. From now until December 10, we must engage our colleagues, our friends, and our neighbors to do the following things:

  • Generate unique public comments.

    Visit this link and submit your own public comment. Comments can be long or brief, but each individual comment, by law, must be read and considered by the agency. If we can generate hundreds of thousands of comments, we can slow the finalization process down by months, or even years, just by overwhelming the agency with paperwork.

  • Submit stories to CDF.

    These stories, which can be anonymous, will be shared with the media. Stories that we need include:

    • Immigrants who would be directly harmed by this regulation
    • Individuals who work directly with immigrant families who will be harmed
    • Individuals who have participated in these programs in the past and they helped you thrive.
    • Families who would’ve been harmed by this regulation if it had been the law in the past.

If you have a lead on any relevant stories, please let me know and cc Laura Guerra-Cardus (;

You can also submit stories directly with the Protecting Immigrant Families (PIF) campaign

  • Create a hullabaloo on social media.

    Using the hashtags #ProtectFamilies, share stories, blog posts, and articles that circulate. Here’s a digital toolkit from the national PIF campaign, including sample posts and graphics for Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and a sample e-newsletter.



Subscribe to the Protecting Immigrant Families campaign and receive updates, actions items, and requests for help.


Thank you for your time and your attention to this important issue. We are so grateful for your partnership on this, as in so many other issues.

Cheasty Anderson
CDF-Texas Senior Health Policy Associate