Joint Statement on Public Charge from Wayne Ho of CPC and Dr. Mitchell Katz of NYC Health + Hospitals
The federal rule on public charge rule goes into effect today. CPC has long stood opposed to this rule, and will continue fighting back against it. In order to inform our community members, Wayne Ho, President and CEO of CPC and Dr. Mitch Katz, President and CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals released the joint statement below.
On February 24th, the Trump Administration will begin implementing a public charge test for immigrants seeking green cards (known formally as “Legal Permanent Residence”) and certain types of visas. The most important thing to know is that many immigrant New Yorkers, including immigrants that currently have green cards, are not actually subject to this rule, and that healthcare services and many other services remain available to all New Yorkers no matter where they come from.
In New York City, 70% of Asian Americans are immigrants, and 40% of the city’s population are immigrants. New York City welcome all immigrants, and has been fighting against this new rule from the Trump Administration. We have fought our way to the Supreme Court and the fight is ongoing, but for now the rule will take effect February 24th. It is important that New Yorkers understand if it impacts them.
You should know three things about the public charge rule.
First, the public charge rule does not change eligibility for public benefits. If you are eligible for a benefit such as Medicaid or SNAP today, the public charge rule does not change that, you remain eligible. If you are not sure if you are eligible, you should still find out through a New York City agency or a community based organization like CPC.
Second, the Public Charge rule does not apply to all immigrants. Immigration officials will begin to apply the new public charge test after February 24th for green card and visa applications, as well as visa renewals submitted inside the United States. The test will not be applied for individuals that already have a green card. It will not be applied to those that have or are applying for T or U visas, asylum, or refugee status, and it will not be applied for those seeking Special Immigrant Juvenile Status or self-petitioners under the Violence Against Women Act.
Third, the public charge test does not mean you should disenroll from public benefits or avoid getting healthcare. If someone submitting an immigration application is actually subject to the public charge test, as described above, immigration officials will look at the applicant’s “totality of circumstances” to evaluate if that applicant is likely to require public support in the future. Under the rule, the officials will look at the applicant’s income, age and other elements, as well as if the applicant was enrolled in certain public benefits after February 24th, 2020. The officials will not look at any benefits taken before February 24th, 2020.
This is important: enrollment in public benefits would not lead to someone automatically being identified as a public charge. In fact many benefits are not even considered in the test. Green card applicants would not be penalized for enrollment in Medicaid for Pregnant Women, Emergency Medicaid, Child Health Plus, Essential Health Plans, subsidies under ObamaCare, Medicare, or the City’s new NYC Care program. The only health benefit that green card applicants could be penalized for is federally-funded Medicaid, and most immigrants that would subject to the test would not be eligible for federally-funded Medicaid anyway. Green card applicants that use SNAP benefits or Section 8 or federal housing vouchers may also be subject to the test.
So what should you do?
You should continue to get the healthcare you need.
If you’re concerned you might be subject to the public charge test in the future, get a free legal consultation to find out if you would actually be affected.
And definitely talk to a lawyer before dropping any benefits you or your family depend on, or choosing not to enroll or check eligibility.
For a free and confidential legal consultation, call the numbers below or visit a community based organization like CPC
- ActionNYC: Call 311 and ask for “ActionNYC”
- Office for New Americans: Call 1-800-566-7636
重要須知：註冊公共福利不會導致此人被自動認定為公共負擔。事實上，許多福利甚至不在該測試的考慮範圍內。綠卡申請人將不會因註冊孕婦醫療補助計畫、緊急醫療補助計畫、Child Health Plus、Essential Health Plan、歐巴馬健保法案的補助、聯邦醫療保險（Medicare）或紐約市的新NYC Care項目而受到處罰。綠卡申請人唯一可能會受到處罰的健保福利是聯邦資助的醫療補助計畫（Medicaid），不過大多數可能需要接受該測試的移民並沒有資格獲得聯邦資助的醫療補助計畫。享受SNAP福利或第八款（Section 8）即聯邦住房券的綠卡申請人也可能要接受該測試。
- 新美國人辦公室（Office for New Americans）：致電1-800-566-7636
Mitchell Katz, MD
President and CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals
President and CEO of CPC