Sept. 9, 2022  

CONTACT: Jack Cardinal, (781) 960-5208,  

(BOSTON, MA) – Community Catalyst issued the following statement in response to the Biden administration finalizing a new “public charge” regulation to go into effect on Dec. 23. The new regulation, finalized by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, is a step toward unwinding the harm imposed by the Trump administration on immigrant families and permits these families access to necessary health care, nutrition and housing services without jeopardizing their immigration status.   

Statement of Community Catalyst Executive Director Emily Stewart: 

“No one should ever have to choose between keeping their family healthy, or keeping them together. We are grateful to the administration for working to unwind previous policy intended to harm and intimidate immigrant communities.  

“Advocacy organizations like ours must now work with the administration to undo the harm of the previous public charge rule and ensure immigrant communities can take advantage of the health care, nutrition and housing services everyone deserves without fear.”  

Additional Background: 

  • In 2019, the previous administration had proposed a new public charge rule, labeling immigrants as a “public charge” if they or their dependents (often their U.S.-born children) utilize needed benefits like the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or cash assistance like the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).  
  • While the 2019 proposed rule was rescinded by the Biden administration in 2020, the fear it created has continued to have a chilling effect on immigrants and their families in accessing the services they need. 
  • Importantly, the Biden administration’s final rule clarifies that a child or other family member’s use of safety net programs like Medicaid, CHIP and SNAP cannot affect a person’s immigration application. As we approach open enrollment and prepare for the unwinding of the COVID-19 public health emergency, this clarification is critical to ensuring that people feel safe in enrolling in programs that are essential to their health and economic well-being. 


About Community Catalyst:  

Community Catalyst is a leading non-profit national health advocacy organization dedicated to advancing a movement for health equity and justice. We partner with local, state and national advocates to leverage and build power so all people can influence decisions that affect their health. Health systems will not be accountable to people without a fully engaged and organized community voice. That’s why we work every day to ensure people’s interests are represented wherever important decisions about health and health care are made: in communities, state houses and on Capitol Hill. For more information, visit Follow us on Twitter @CommCatHealth.