The potential health effects of the ‘public charge’ immigration rule

  On Aug. 14, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued a rule to restrict immigrants’ ability to obtain legal permanent residency, based on whether they have received government benefits. The rule is due to go into effect Oct. 15. The rule considers immigrants who receive benefits such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Medicaid likely to become “public charges.” (Also known as food stamps, SNAP is a program that offers low-income adults a form of debit payment to purchase groceries at authorized retailers.) Per a definition from the U.S. Citizenship and…

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