Trump’s Public-Charge Rule Would Threaten Disabled Immigrants’ Health and Safety

Publication date: 
August 2018
Trump’s Public-Charge Rule Would Threaten Disabled Immigrants’ Health and Safety

The Trump administration's proposed changes to the public charge rule would have widespread negative consequences for people with disabilities and their families. Under the current law, most immigrants seeking a green card, which grants them authorization to live and work permanently in the United States, must pass an archaic public-charge test. An individual can be designated a public charge if they are determined likely to become primarily dependent on long-term cash assistance from programs such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or institutionalized for long-term care paid for with Medicaid. 

Even though the current public-charge test discriminates against immigrants with disabilities, relatively few disabled immigrants with family support in the United States fail it. But the administration is preparing to drastically expand the public-charge test, including by explicitly targeting disabled immigrants. This issue brief considers what the proposed changes would mean for the health and safety of disabled immigrants. 

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