Any day now, the Trump administration is expected to finalize changes to federal immigration regulations that threaten the health of 283,000 Michiganders, including 114,000 children. We will be putting out a statement and doing other media activities when the rule does come out, but as advocates for immigrants and the health needs of all residents, we wanted to help you get a jump on the issue.

As proposed, the “public charge” regulation puts admissions to the U.S. or applications for a “green card” at risk if an immigrant or a member of an immigrant’s family uses Medicare, Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly “Food Stamps”) or “Section 8” rent vouchers. Citizenship applications are not subject to the “public charge” regulation, and refugees, asylees, and other immigration statuses are also exempt. Nonetheless, independent estimates peg the regulation’s impact at 26 million people nationwide—and nearly a quarter of a million people here in Michigan. You can learn more about how Michigan families are expected to be impacted by the proposed public charge rule and the dangerous chilling effect it is already having on Michigan immigrants and their families here.

As families forego needed care, as well as the food and shelter required to maintain health, experts expect a spike in poor health outcomes. And because immigrants targeted by the Trump proposal are overwhelmingly immigrants of color, experts expect racial health disparities to widen.

When proposed last fall, the public charge rule change drew more than 266,000 public comments, overwhelmingly in opposition. The Michigan League for Public Policy opposed the plan along with the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center, African Bureau of Immigration & Social Affairs (ABISA), Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS), Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation (DHDC) as partners in the Protecting Immigrant Families Michigan campaign. We have fought back alongside pediatricians, hospitals, health insurers, public health officials, and other local and national health leaders.

The final public charge rule could come at any time—we can help you be ready. Advocates and experts can offer insights on:

  • The proposal’s status, including warning signs that the administration may be nearing publication of a final rule
  • The critical role of our congressional delegation in protecting our community’s health
  • Litigation and other potential responses if and when the final rule is published
  • The next attack—emerging threats to immigrant families’ health and access to care
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