Advocacy Alert

Urge Your Lawmakers to Support Essential Health System Designation

Association Comments on Public Charge Proposed Rule

Abigail Painchaud
May 3, 2022

America’s Essential Hospitals submitted comments to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on the public charge ground of inadmissibility proposed rule.

After reversing the formerly broadened definition of public charge and releasing an advance notice of proposed rulemaking, DHS takes the next step to formally codify a public charge definition into regulation through the proposed rule

The association thanked the administration for taking steps to reverse the damaging 2019 broadened definition of public charge and urged the administration to:

  • limit the types of public benefit programs considered in the public charge definition to exclude all in-kind benefit programs;
  • exclude the receipt of local, state, tribal, and territorial cash assistance from the public charge determination;
  • finalize its proposed definition of “receipt” of public benefits to ensure individuals are not penalized for merely applying for benefits or for others’ receipt of benefits;
  • finalize the totality of the circumstances test and apply the statutory factors in a nondiscriminatory and equitable manner;
  • consider the affidavit of support as sufficient evidence that an applicant for immigration status is unlikely to become a public charge;
  • ensure the public charge regulations are clear to the general public, state and local agencies, and health care providers; and
  • work with other federal agencies with jurisdiction over immigration to ensure alignment in finalizing and implementing the public charge definition.

Contact Director of Policy Rob Nelb, MPH, at or 202.585.0127 with questions.

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