Texas families should keep their children enrolled despite Supreme Court ruling on the “Public Charge” rule 

January 28, 2020

Patrick Bresette, Executive Director, Children’s Defense Fund-Texas


AUSTIN – Children’s Defense Fund-Texas is deeply disappointed in the Supreme Court’s decision to let the “public charge” rule go into effect while the rule is still being challenged in court. The Court’s decision will only create more confusion for Texas families and unnecessarily result in hungrier, sicker and more homeless American children. 

“We must all double down our efforts to ensure that families know that it is safe to keep children enrolled in food and nutrition programs and that this rule will not affect the overwhelming majority of immigrant families in Texas,” says Cheasty Anderson, Immigration Policy Director for the Children’s Defense Fund-Texas. 

Here is the breakdown: 


  • Use of benefits by U.S. citizen (and resident) children in CHIP, Medicaid, SNAP and other programs they qualify for will NOT affect the residency determination (“green card”) for family members applying from inside the U.S.
  • For those applying from outside the U.S., a family member’s use of benefits may still not have a meaningful impact on a residency determination. Even in this instance, CDF-Texas recommends that you keep your children enrolled while you contact a local legal services provider or qualified immigration attorney to learn more.
  • Beware of people who automatically recommend dropping benefits for children without understanding the child’s needs or having a good understanding of the public charge rule’s heavy emphasis on income as a negative factor in the green card application process. 


“At a time like this, it is important to recognize the enormous contribution that low-income immigrants have made to this country. Not only do immigrants bring tens of billions of dollars every year into our national and local economies helping prop up the institutions we all depend on, but since the birth of our country immigrants have added to the richness of our culture and success as a nation,” said Patrick Bresette, CDF-Texas Executive Director. In America more than anywhere else – and for hundreds of years – we have shown that being born poor does not determine your worth as a person or your potential in life. It is high time for our leaders to internalize that truth and stop their attempt to limit U.S. immigration to only the affluent.”


Learn more information about the new rule on the Cover Texas Now blog.