September 21, 2022
Los Angeles County Office of Immigrant Affairs Elevates Community Education Campaign to Address New ‘Public Charge’ Rule Change
LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles County Office of Immigrant Affairs (OIA) in the Department of Consumer and Business Affairs (DCBA) welcomes the new “public charge” regulation and continues its public campaign to inform immigrant households about this positive and important development. The rule change, announced Sept. 8, 2022 and scheduled to take effect Dec. 23, 2022, strengthens protections for immigrant families seeking access to support programs, resources, and services offered by Los Angeles County and other government agencies.
While the Biden administration reversed the Trump-era public charge policy in March 2021, various surveys demonstrate that immigrant households remain unwilling to access critical assistance due to ongoing fear and confusion.
“Sadly, many immigrant families in the County have been afraid to ask for critical help during the pandemic due to public charge concerns, even after the Biden administration reversed the previous administration’s rule. The recently announced rule provides an important opportunity to undo that harm,” said Rigoberto Reyes, OIA Executive Director.
OIA is working on an ongoing campaign with L.A. County departments and community partners to educate immigrants about the facts and available services. In partnership with the BAILA Network and partner organizations, OIA will co-host a webinar in English and Spanish (click links to register) today to provide critical information about the upcoming rule change for legal and social service providers, community navigators, and the immigrant community at large.
Under the new announced rule, a child or other family member’s use of safety-net programs does not affect the immigration status of other relatives or household members. Eligible immigrants and their household members can access housing, health care, and nutrition programs such as CalFresh without concern about the impact on their immigration status. This is especially important in light of California’s recent expansion of Medi-Cal to all income-eligible persons who are 50 years or older, regardless of immigration status. The rule clarifies that only long-term institutionalized care at government expense or use of cash assistance for income maintenance such as SSI, TANF (CalWorks), and state, local and tribal cash assistance, may be considered in a public charge determination.
As part of this campaign, OIA has developed a Public Charge Q&A now available for the public on their website. OIA counselors are also available at (800) 593-8222.
Since 1975, the County of Los Angeles Department of Consumer and Business Affairs (DCBA) has been the local consumer protection agency serving County consumers, tenants, homeowners, immigrants, and workers. DCBA provides a wide range of services that aim to foster a fair and dynamic marketplace and enhance the economic wellbeing of our communities. This includes investigating consumer fraud complaints, enforcing the County’s tenant and worker protections, and providing access to justice programs. More information can be found at dcba.lacounty.gov or by calling (800) 593-8222.