In 2018, the campaign generated popular opposition to the Trump Administration’s public charge proposal. More than 266,000 people and organizations submitted comments – the overwhelming majority of which opposed this proposal. This was only possible through our diverse coalition of partners and hard working advocates from all over the country engaging in unique ways with their communities.
While the Trump Administration finalized its public charge regulation in 2019, litigation delayed implementation until February 2020, just weeks before COVID-19 hit the United States. The policy’s “chilling effect” amplified the pandemic’s impact on immigrant families of color, and we worked throughout 2020 to document the harm for journalists and policymakers. PIF also increased its community education efforts around healthcare and vaccine access, developed ways for our partners to join in federal advocacy actions, and developed resources to help service providers and advocates engage in their communities.
In January 2021, more than 500 PIF partners urged the Biden administration to immediately begin rolling back public charge. Then, in March, a letter to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) signed by 150 PIF coalition partners secured the administration’s agreement to stop defending Trump-era public charge litigation in federal court. As a result, the last administration’s public charge policy has been reversed. This is a critical first step toward addressing the damage it has caused. However, more must be done to overcome its lasting chilling effect.
We are now advocating for a public charge policy that prevents abuses like we saw under Trump and secures access to programs that help immigrant families live healthy and fulfilling lives. On April 25, 2022, the PIF coalition submitted a comment on the Biden Administration’s public charge proposal signed by 1,070 organizations! Importantly, the comment’s signatories included a diverse set of national organizations and organizations from every state and Washington DC, signaling to the Administration that they can count on a broad base of support in communicating the final public charge regulation to immigrant communities.