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NACo Analysis on DHS "public charge" rule

On October 9, NACo released a new analysis on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s proposed regulation that would redefine how the federal government determines whether an individual applying for immigration status meets the definition of a “public charge,” which refers to an individual who relies on public assistance. As administrators of numerous federal benefits programs and as front-line defenders of the public’s health and safety, counties could be significantly impacted by expansion of the “public charge” definition. These impacts, which are detailed in NACo’s analysis, include increased strain on the local safety-net, administrative burden on county agencies and risk of public disease outbreaks.

The administration is set to publish the proposed rule in the Federal Register this week. Once the rule is published, the public will be able to submit comments for a 60-day period, including weighing in on whether certain programs, such as the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), should be included under the new rule. After DHS considers these comments, the agency will issue a final rule.

Contact: Eryn Hurley, Associate Legislative Director, ehurley@naco.org or 202.942.4204.

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