In Solidarity Against Public Charge

6 min readFeb 24, 2020


On August 14, 2019, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a final rule expanding the grounds for inadmissibility under a revised public charge regulation. The new rule forces families to choose between basic needs like health care and keeping their loved ones together. The revised regulation was initially scheduled to take effect on October 15, 2019 but multiple federal courts issued injunctions that temporarily stopped the rule from being implemented. As legal challenges against the new rule continued, some of these injunctions were lifted. On January 27, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court lifted the last nationwide injunction which was preventing the rule from going into effect. This means that the public charge rule will be allowed to go into effect while the litigation continues. The new rule went into effect February 24, 2020.

AAPCHO — with our members and other national, state and local partners — condemn this rule. This post chronicles our collective efforts to address its harmful impact and fear and anxiety the rule is causing families, many of whom the rule does not apply to, known as the “chilling effect.”

AAPCHO member community health centers have already seen the chilling effects of public charge on patients who are foregoing essential services, disenrolling from benefits for which they are eligible, or just not showing up to receive necessary health care. AAPCHO will continue to work with our partners to fight against the rule in the courts, in Congress, and at the ballot box. We will not allow these un-American policies to go unchecked, and we encourage all members of the community to stand firmly against this rule.

Visit this page often for the latest updates on our efforts. If you have any questions related to public charge, email us at and click here for related resources.

February 24, 2020

DHS’s revised public charge rule went into effect on Monday, February 24, 2020. The rule takes effect nationwide.

As the public charge rule goes into effect, AAPCHO joins the Protecting Immigrant Families (PIF) Coalition and other partners across the nation for a #ProtectFamilies “Teach-In” Day to tackle the misinformation and fear surrounding public charge. Find information on how to host an education event here and their public benefits awareness social media toolkit.

The National Health Center Immigration Workgroup has prepared a set of health center specific Frequently Asked Questions that can be used by front line staff. The Workgroup also meets every first Wednesday of the month to answer immigration-related questions from health center staff. The next meeting is on Wednesday, March 4, 2020 at 10am HT / 12 noon PT / 3pm ET. You can register for the next webinar here.

One Nation has FAQs available in Chinese, Khmer, Korean, Mongolian, Spanish, Tagalog, Thai and Vietnamese. One Nation has also made its Commission report on public charge available online here.

January 2020

On January 8, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit denied the Trump administration’s request to stay the nationwide preliminary injunction prohibiting the government from implementing the DHS’s revised public charge rule.

On January 27, the U.S. Supreme Court lifted the last remaining preliminary injunction on public charge. AAPCHO denounced the decision as it allowed public charge to move forward.

December 2019

On December 10, the Protecting Immigrant Families (PIF) and AAPCHO condemned the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit. These courts stayed the preliminary injunctions that were issued in California, Washington, and Maryland that had stopped the public charge final rule.

Photo courtesy of Asian Health Services

AAPCHO and members, Asian Health Services, Asian Americans for Community Involvement, and North East Medical Services, supported the One Nation Coalition in their West Coast release of the One Nation Commission Report, One Nation Built on the Strength of Immigrants. The report includes facts, data, research, imagery, and curated stories that show that immigrants make America stronger.

October 2019

On October 11, AAPCHO applauded the U.S. District Court’s decision to block the DHS’s public charge rule. Federal judges in six lawsuits filed against the revised rule, including four that issued nationwide injunctions. At the time, this blocked the rule from going into effect.

Nearly a dozen lawsuits have been filed to prevent the public charge rule from taking effect on October 15. AAPCHO for a mass action to support joined local Bay Area advocates at the United States District Court in Oakland, California to #PackTheCourthouse and support the lawsuits filed to block the final rule from being implemented.

On October 29, the One Nation Coalition released its Built on the Strength of Immigrants report, highlighting the important contributions immigrants make to our country. It provides facts, data, research, and curated stories that prove and illustrate the fact that immigrants are a benefit to the American economy and society.

The Commission held a press conference in Washington, D.C., co-hosted by members of the Tri Caucus, including Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA), Judy Chu (D-CA), and Reuben Gallego (D-AZ).

The One Nation Coalition visited over 100 Congressional offices to educate Senators and Members of Congress of the strength immigrants bring to our country and the harm the rule is doing to families across the nation.

August 2019

One Nation brought out more than 500 community advocates and partners in Oakland, California to demonstrate the deep opposition to public charge. The #OneNation United Against Public Charge Rally featured powerful testimony from community organizers, elected officials, local artists, and individuals who could be impacted by the rule. More videos, photos, and press coverage from the rally can be found on One Nation‘s and AAPCHO ‘s Facebook pages.

July 2019

AAPCHO, with the California Primary Care Association, the National Association of Community Health Centers and Asian Health Services, met with professional staff of the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs to continue the fight against the Department of Homeland Security’s proposed rule on inadmissibility on public charge grounds.

June 2019

AAPCHO joined our members- Asian Health Services, Asian Americans for Community Involvement, Center for Pan Asian Community Services, HOPE Clinic, and North East Medical Services- and other partners in Washington, D.C. for #OneNation Movement’s Days of Action. Check out some of the highlights from the One Nation press conference here.

December 2018

Over 216,000 comments were submitted to the DHS, far exceeding national targets during the public charge comment period. Further, the #OneNation AAPI coalition submitted more than 23,000 comments, with AAPCHO members directly organizing over 3,000 comments (or 1.5 percent of all comments received nationally).




The Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations — dedicated to promoting advocacy, collaboration and leadership to improve AA and NHPI health.