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Department of Homeland Security Announces Implementation Date for Public Charge Rule

OAKLAND, CA, January 31, 2020 – Yesterday, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced it will begin implementation of the new public charge rule on February 24, 2020.

This announcement follows the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision earlier this week that allowed public charge to be implemented nationally (with the exception of Illinois) while the litigation makes its way through the courts, marking a significant and harmful departure from current policy.

Under this policy, some immigrants who access public benefits, that they are legally eligible to receive, could face adverse consequences when applying to change their immigration status. Importantly, receipt of public benefits prior to the implementation date will not be considered by DHS. The rule also targets low-income persons, persons of a certain age, and those with health conditions and disabilities, among other factors.

The harm of this rule will go far beyond those targeted directly in the regulation, generating fear and confusion, and causing many immigrant families to forgo critical benefits, such as health care, food assistance, and housing supports.

“California’s public health care systems remain committed to serving all individuals, regardless of immigration status,” said Erica Murray, CEO and President of the California Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems. “As core safety-net providers, we stand true to this today and under any circumstance.”

“We are concerned for the health and well-being of individuals and families in our communities, and remind patients that public health care systems are committed to providing a safe place to receive care,” said Murray.


About California’s Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems (CAPH)

The California Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems (CAPH) represents California’s 21 public health care systems, which include county-affiliated systems and the five University of California academic medical centers. Together, these systems form the core of the state’s health care safety net. Though accounting for just 6% of hospitals in the state, the public health care systems operate in 15 counties where more than 80% of the state’s population lives. They provide 40% of all hospital care to California’s remaining uninsured and 35% of all hospital care to Medi-Cal beneficiaries in the communities they serve. These 21 health care systems serve 2.85 million patients annually, operate more than 200 outpatient clinic facilities, and provide more than 11.5 million outpatient visits each year. They operate more than half of California’s top-level burn and trauma centers, and train more than half of all new doctors in the state. For more information, visit www.caph.org.

Media Contact:

Megan Renfrew
CAPH Director of Communications