Public charge proposal introduced in the federal register

Written by: Stephanie Perez-Carrillo
Date Posted: October 12, 2018

Tens of thousands of Colorado children could be impacted by a new Trump administration proposal The proposal cuts off pathways to permanent residence for legally residing immigrants, and asks families to make an impossible choice between accessing essential services for which they are eligible or keeping their families together.

What is the “public charge” test?

The proposal vastly expands the definition of “public charge” to include essential health, housing, and nutrition supports. Immigrants who are legally present or requesting access to the United States, but who hope to change their immigration status to Legal Permanent Resident—green card holders – are subject to the “public charge” test.

How does this impact Colorado kids?

Tens of thousands of children participate in public benefits that this proposal could impact, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid/Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP), Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), as well as Housing vouchers.. Last week we shared a story that detailed how this proposal would undo many years of progress in covering Colorado kids, noting that that the rate of kids in Colorado without health insurance would DOUBLE, according to the Colorado Health Institute.

The proposal also means that more than tens of thousands of Colorado kids could face food insecurity, which is already too common among Colorado’s kids. One in seven children living in Colorado households reported facing food insecurity at some point during the year.

What does the process look like?

The notice for proposed rulemaking was issued Wednesday, and marked the first day of the 60-day comment period. The comment period will go through December 9th. The department will then have the opportunity to review comments and consider changes before issuing a finale rule.

Here’s how you can take action

The Children’s Campaign, in partnership with the Colorado Center on Law and Policy, the Center for Health Progress, and the Colorado Fiscal Institute issued a joint statement opposing the harmful proposed rule. We will also be drafting Colorado—specific and kid-focused comments to submit to the federal register and will be sure to share them with you so that you can share them with your networks. A few weeks ago we shared a story that explains what the federal register is and the impact of submitting your own comments.

Visit the PIF website for more information or read through some of the stories we have posted. They have helpful fact sheets and other resources to support you in your advocacy.

Use these sample social media posts:


  • Families shouldn’t have to choose between access to necessary services like #Medicaid & #SNAP and being able to apply for a green card. The #publiccharge rule change is irresponsible. Submit your comments by December 9. #ProtectFamilies
  • Govt’s proposed #publiccharge rule change could cause more families to go hungry & get sick, driving up #poverty & risking our country’s future prosperity: Submit your comments to @DHSgov: #cohealth #ProtectFamilies
  • Policies that create more sick, hungry families are bad policies. Stop the #publiccharge rule change by submitting your comments by Dec 9.


  • Forcing families to choose between getting the help they need–like health insurance and food assistance–and keeping their family together, is dangerous and irresponsible. The time to fight back against public charge is now. Submit your comments by December 9.
  • Recent changes to immigration policy and practices are already forcing families to forego basic needs like food and health care. The government’s proposed change to the “public charge” rule could cause thousands of families to go hungry and lose access to basic health care, driving up poverty. Submit your comments by December 9.
  • Changing the “public charge” rule to punish immigrants seeking legal status is yet another an attack on families with limited economic opportunity and people of color, and we won’t stay silent. Early estimates show thousands of Colorado families could be impacted. Submit your comments today.
Stephanie Perez-Carrillo

About Stephanie Perez-Carrillo

Stephanie works as a Policy Analyst for the Colorado Children’s Campaign. Prior to joining the Children’s Campaign, she worked as a Public Policy Fellow at The Women’s Foundation of Colorado – where she found her love and passion for policy work. Before diving into the policy world, Stephanie served as a Teach for America Corps Member in South Carolina, teaching high school and middle school math. Early on while obtaining her degree in Marketing from Florida International University, she worked in health care as a Patient Advocate and Unit Secretary. When she is not working, you can typically find her at a coffee shop, hanging out with friends, or engaging in some type of outdoor activity.