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Webinars Mechanisms for Advancing Health Equity

The Public Charge Rule and the Threat to Public Health

February 20, 2020


The Department of Homeland Security’s Final Public Charge Rule redefined the term “public charge” by greatly expanding who might be deemed a “public charge” and which “public benefits” are included in the public charge analysis. Under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) a person living in the U.S. can be denied a green card if she or he is found to be a “public charge.” Under the Final Rule, “public benefits” now include non-cash benefits, including most forms of Medicaid. With the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent order allowing the Final Rule to go into effect while legal challenges make their way through the lower courts, many poor and low-income individuals will now face increased scrutiny when applying for a green card. The Final Rule has raised significant concerns regarding its potential impact on public health. This webinar provides an overview of the Final Rule and its anticipated impact, including how immigrant communities are being impacted and a discussion of some core legal arguments submitted in federal district court on how the Final Rule contravenes Congress’ health policy goals.  

By attending this webinar, you will:

• Obtain an overview of the Public Charge Rule: what it is, what changed, and its status in the courts
• Gain insight into how the Final Rule might impact the use of public benefits in mixed-status households
• Learn about potential public health impacts of the Final Rule
• Learn about legal arguments submitted to federal courts


  • Leila Barraza, J.D., M.P.H., Consultant, Network for Public Health Law—Western Region Office


  • April Shaw, PhD, J.D., Staff Attorney, Network for Public Health Law—Western Region Office
  • Justin J. Lowe, J.D., Legal Director, Health Law Advocates
  • Holly Straut-Eppsteiner, PhD, Research Program Manager, National Immigration Law Center

You may qualify for CLE credit. ASLME is an approved provider of continuing legal education credits in several states ASLME will also apply for CLE credits in other states upon request. An email from ASLME regarding CLE credits will be sent to attendees following the webinar.

Facilitated Discussion on the Public Charge Rule for MLPs

March 4 | 3:30 p.m. EST

If you participate in a medical-legal partnership and are interested in discussing the Public Charge Rule and its implications for your patients/clients, please join the Network for a facilitated discussion with your MLP colleagues. Network for Public Health Law attorney April Shaw, as well as Randye Retkin, Director, and Sarah Nolan, Supervising Attorney, with LegalHealth, a division of the New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG), will join the call to assist with answering questions. This call follows the Network’s upcoming webinar, The Public Charge Rule and the Threat to Public Health. Please plan to attend the webinar or review the webinar recording prior to the call; the recording will be posted to the Network’s website within 2-3 business days of the webinar.

Please RSVP no later than Friday, February 28, if you plan to participate in the call. With your RSVP, please send at least one comment or question for discussion; these questions will be used to facilitate discussion among participants. The goal for this call is for participants to engage in an informed discussion about their MLP’s experience and challenges related to the Public Charge Rule and to collectively strategize next steps. Prior to the call, we will send call-in information to everyone who has RSVP’d. Email Colleen Healy Boufides at to RSVP or with any questions.