Higher Education Leaders Call Proposed “Public Charge” Rule Harmful and Counterproductive for Immigrants and the Country

Washington, D.C. –The Department of Homeland Security has proposed regulations that would penalize low-income immigrants, who receive or who are “likely to receive” public benefits, such as health, housing, and food assistance, that are critical to ensuring they enroll and succeed in higher education. Under the proposed rule, which substantially expands the definition of “public charge,” legally authorized immigrants who access basic nutrition, housing, and health programs, could jeopardize their chances of obtaining green cards or restrict any future opportunities to change or upgrade their immigration status. As researchers have shown, these proposed regulations will produce fear and confusion as lawful immigrants decide to forego enrollment for themselves and their families in these programs out of fear of harming their future eligibility to stay permanently in this country. Read more.

The Community College Consortium for Immigrant Education and the Presidents’ Alliance for Higher Education and Immigration submitted comments to the Department of Homeland Security to express our opposition to this proposed “Public Charge” rule. The comments outlined our top 10 ten concerns. This higher ed template was developed by CCCIE and the Presidents’ Alliance, collaboration with the Center for Law and Social Policy and with input from the National Skills Coalition. Institutions and individuals can use this template to submit and modify their own comments.