3/11/21 - A Message to Providers from Secretary Hou: IDHS Applauds the End of 2019 Public Charge Rule

Dear IDHS Partner,

We are writing with great news; the 2019 Public Charge rule will no longer be enforced! The Biden Administration announced that it would end the legal battle over the controversial rule.

The 2019 Public Charge rule, introduced by the Trump Administration, called for stringent regulations regarding the use of certain public benefits such as food stamps, public housing, and some forms of Medicaid. The rule also made it more difficult for immigrants to apply for legal permanent residency and to receive their green card. The rule caused a chilling effect where immigrants were forgoing necessary and deserved public benefits-denying themselves access to much-needed food and medical care--for fear of immigration repercussions.

In the momentous move, Alejandro N. Mayorkas, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, announced that the government would no longer defend the Public Charge rule in court, saying it wasn't in the public interest to move forward with litigation. The announcement wraps up an almost two-year court battle by advocates to stop the negative direct and chilling effect brought by issuing and implementing the rule. You can read the DHS Secretary's statement here.

Over the last two years, IDHS convened a working group with our partners Protect Immigrant Families-Illinois to mitigate the impact of the Public Charge rule and provided mini-grants to community organizations that were working to conduct outreach and training to immigrant communities. IDHS also submitted public comment to the federal Office of Management and Budget in opposition to the rule and recommended that the federal government withdraw the changes. We are proud to stand with our community partners in celebrating this victory.

With this announcement, immigrant families can breathe easier, knowing that they can live and thrive in their new country without fear of the immigration repercussions caused by the rule.



Grace B. Hou

Secretary, IDHS