Following a decision last week by the U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has announced it will implement the “public charge” final rule beginning Feb. 24. The rule allows the federal government to exclude from entry any immigrant — after considering their age, health, family status, education and skills, and financial resources — who has used, or is likely to use, certain health care, nutrition, or housing programs for more than 12 months in a 36-month period.
CHA has prepared a fact sheet for hospitals to use with patients.
Other helpful resources for hospitals include:
- An online directory that includes local nonprofit organizations that provide legal help and advice
- A list of immigration service providers in California, maintained by the California Department of Social Services
- An overview of the rule created by the California Health and Human Services Agency (currently undergoing updates)
CHA reminds hospitals that they should not provide legal advice to patients on the impact of the public charge rule on their immigration status, as each situation is different. Instead, they should refer patients to an immigration expert who can advise on the patient’s particular situation.
Hospitals can still explain whether someone is eligible for a health care or public benefits program, but only a qualified immigration lawyer should advise patients on whether their use of the program will affect their immigration status.