Responding to the Harmful New Public Charge Rules

August 13, 2019

On August 12, the administration announced its new Public Charge rule, which can drastically reduce numbers of legal immigrants who can enter and stay in the U.S. by making it much easier for the government to reject applications for green cards and visas based upon low incomes or low education levels, and if immigrants have previously used housing, food, or medical assistance—even if temporarily. Here is a link to the final rule. Read more about it here: and here:

If litigation does not halt its implementation, the new rule would be operational on October 15th, which will be 60 days following its final posting in the Federal Register. The National Immigration Law Center (NILC) has announced its intent to file a lawsuit challenging the new rule, as NILC’s Executive Director, Marielena Hincapie, calls the rule “a cruel new step toward weaponizing programs that are intended to help people by making them, instead, a means of separating families and sending immigrants and communities of color one message: you are not welcome here.”

Go to RIM’s Public Charge Website Page for Additional Resources to Assist Your Congregation and Community in Understanding the Changes. Check back often for updates:

Find much information here, through Protecting Immigrant Families:

Follow to Learn and Share through #ProtectFamilies on Social Media.

RIM’s Director, Rev. Dr. Sharon Stanley-Rea, joins national interfaith leaders, legal experts, and human rights advocates in urging the new law be withdrawn, due to family and community damages it poses. RIM’s Director says about the rule:

“The calling of our scriptures is clear and repeated to ‘maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute’ (Ps. 82:3) and “defend the rights of the poor and needy” (Proverbs 31:9.) Instead, the new public charge rule puts immigration status at risk if a person is not wealthy, and punishes potential immigrants who may have an existing health condition. It penalizes immigrants who seek to obtain legal status if they have accessed public housing benefits–even if they have done so temporarily–and likewise threatens consequences upon single parents who may need benefits for a short time to support their family as they build stability. Such damages are unnecessary and harmful to families and communities, and we urge the Administration to rescind the rule.”

Grace Pai, Director of the “Value Our Families” family-based immigration national coalition (of which RIM is a member and NAPAD’s Director has also participated in actions) further commented:

“The public charge rule is in effect a ban on families, with the singular goal of cutting immigration levels of people of color to the United States. Family-based immigration will be hit hardest by the rule, likely impacting heavily the parents of U.S. citizens, elderly or low-income immigrants, and people with disabilities or health conditions.  We need policies that do not demonize immigrants but seek to build healthy, safe and prosperous communities. We call on Members of Congress to…help us pass the Reuniting Families Act as a real solution to strengthen our family-based immigration system.” (Learn more about the work of “Value Our Families” at:

See RIM’s Public Charge Website Page HERE for Additional Resources