WASHINGTON—Today, the Biden-Harris Administration and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued a new Final Rule on Public Charge. In March 2021, the Administration ended the defense of the 2019 Public Charge Final Rule and restored the 1999 interim field guidance as the public charge policy until the issuance of a new rule. The new rule is reminiscent of the pre-2019 public charge rule, allowing immigrants and their families to access non-cash public benefits without repercussions to their immigration status.

Juliet K. Choi, president and CEO of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF), released the following statement:

“We applaud President Biden and the Department of Homeland Security for issuing a new Public Charge Final Rule. The new Final Rule reflects a more humane and familiar approach to serving immigrant communities and does not penalize individuals for accessing public services, like Medicaid and housing subsidies. As such, allowing more access moves us closer to equity. 

“Our work to ensure immigrant communities, including AA & NHPI communities, have equitable access to quality healthcare and other public services is far from done. But I want to take this time to celebrate and thank all the advocates and community leaders who pushed this new rule forward. APIAHF is proud to be part of this community of leaders and advocates who have worked tirelessly to bring justice to our communities.”

APIAHF will be working with the Protecting Immigrant Families (PIF) Coalition in the coming days to distribute community materials about the new rule and its impact. PIF is a coalition of organizations that came together after the introduction of the 2019 Public Charge Rule to unite, advance, protect and defend access to health care, nutrition programs, public services and economic support for immigrants and their families at the local, state and federal level. With its partners in PIF, APIAHF collected hundreds of thousands of public comments, including from the AA & NHPI communities. APIAHF is a proud member of the PIF Coalition and sits on its Executive Committee.

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The Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) influences policy, mobilizes communities and strengthens programs and organizations to improve the health of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders.