Refugee and Immigration Services
06/01/2021

Report: Public Charge Rule Increased Barriers to Care for Immigrants in 2020

The Urban Institute has published a report finding that the now-defunct Public Charge Rule, an executive action of the Trump Administration since blocked by the Biden Administration, had a chilling effect on accessing a wide array of critical services for low-income immigrants across the United States.

Despite facing hardships, more than 1 in 4 adults in low-income immigrant families (27.5 percent) reported they or a family member avoided noncash benefits or other help with basic needs because of green card or other immigration concerns in 2020.

» Adults in families with nonpermanent residents were more likely than adults in other lowincome immigrant families to report these chilling effects (43.9 percent).

» More than 1 in 8 adults in low-income immigrant families reported that someone in the family avoided a nutrition program (13.2 percent), almost 1 in 9 reported avoiding a health program (10.9 percent), and just under 1 in 10 reported avoiding a housing assistance program (9.8 percent).

» Adults in families with nonpermanent residents were more likely to have experienced chilling effects for each type of assistance: 22.0 percent reported avoiding a nutrition program, 18.2 percent reported avoiding a health program, and 17.0 percent reported avoiding a housing assistance program.

» Adults reported avoiding programs targeted by the expanded public charge rule, such as SNAP, but also avoided programs excluded from the rule, such as unemployment insurance, free or low-cost medical care for uninsured people, and emergency rental assistance.