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LeadingAge Comments on Proposed Rule Affecting Immigration Status

LeadingAge national has submitted comments to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) expressing opposition to its proposed rule broadening the factors used in public charge determinations, meaning whether a legal immigrant would become primarily dependent on the government for subsistence.   

The proposed rule would lower the threshold for public charge determinations from “primarily dependent” to “likely to receive a public benefit” and expand the list of public benefits considered to include Medicaid, the Medicare Part D Low-Income Subsidy Program, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and housing assistance. The proposed rule could affect a legal immigrant’s future immigration status, such as ability to get a green card, become a citizen or change visa status, based on their receipt of public benefits.

LeadingAge emphasized in its comments that the proposed rule would negatively impact the ability of providers to recruit and retain direct care workers, many of whom use public programs, and would also have a negative impact on older adults living in immigrant families in the United States who may be afraid to access services they need, including Medicaid coverage of long-term services and supports.

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