CPCA Responds to the Public Charge Rule

Up-to-Date Immigration Resources and Trainings

The anti-immigrant policies put in place by the federal administration have created an increased atmosphere of fear in our immigrant communities. This fear is referred to as the ‘chilling effect’ and it has discouraged many immigrants and their family members from enrolling into lifesaving services, such as Medi-Cal, out of fear that their immigration status, or that of a family member, will be affected. These fears have been further exacerbated by the public charge rule, which would expand the list of public benefit programs currently considered in a public charge assessment when an individual applies to enter or reenter the country or applies for legal permanent residency (i.e. green card).

In response, health centers have asked CPCA to create trainings along with fact sheets and resources to help staff understand the rule and ensure they can answer related patient questions accurately.  Thus, CPCA created the Protecting Immigrants Access to Public Benefits Workgroup, which is comprised of 16 statewide organizations and one national organization. This workgroup created the ‘Public Charge Training Modules for Advocates and Service Providers,’ which is a package of train-the-trainer style presentations to help support providers (i.e. frontline staff, enrollers, CHWs / Promotoras, service providers, county staff) and CBOs in discussing public charge with patients and the community. Each module includes a script to help guide presenters. All together the modules comprise a full-day workshop.

Thus far CPCA has conducted trainings in Los Angeles (100 participants), the Bay Area (50 participants), the Central Valley (50 participants), the Inland Empire (70 participants) and through a webinar (58 Participants). The first three trainings were half day pilots to allow us to gather input from presenters and the audience to improve the modules’ content. We are now moving into hosting all day trainings. We have two trainings tentatively scheduled, September 18 in Sacramento and September 24 in Alameda (in partnership with the Alameda consortium). To register for any upcoming trainings, or to find out more information about the modules, please visit CPCA’s Immigration Resource Page.

If you’re interested in helping to host a training for your region, or would like to request a training, please contact Liz Oseguera ( CPCA is also working through the workgroup to create community facing trainings and modules.

CPCA Files Lawsuit to Block Public Charge Rule

On August 16, 2019, CPCA, along with Clinica de la Raza and other immigrant partners, filed a lawsuit to block changes to the public charge rule, which the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) finalized on August 14, 2019.  La Clínica de la Raza et al. v. Trump et al., filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, asks the court to declare the regulation issued by DHS unlawful and unconstitutional. The complaint argues that the regulation was motivated by racial bias against nonwhite immigrants and asks the court to strike it down as a violation of Equal Protection under the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. As indicators of a motivating racial animus, the complaint cites the administration’s acknowledgement that the policy will have a disparate impact on families of color, President Donald Trump’s own racist statements, and his administration’s other racially-biased policies.

Along with CPCA and Clinica de la Raza, the plaintiffs in the lawsuit include: African Communities Together, the Central American Resource Center, the Council on American Islamic Relations – California, Farmworker Justice, the Korean Resource Center, the Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County, and Maternal and Child Health Access. The plaintiffs are represented by the National Immigration Law Center, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles, the National Health Law Program, and the Western Center on Law and Poverty.

CPCA would like to thank Clinica de la Raza’s CEO Jane Garcia for her ongoing leadership in protecting our immigrant patients. We’d also like to acknowledge the work of CEO at Asian Health Services’ CEO Sherry Hirota, and AAPCHO for their work in this area.  As Jane Garcia has stated, “The public charge regulation is an attack on the culturally diverse families we serve, threatening their health and their very lives. We will stand with our patients and their families and fight this.” Read more about the lawsuit and CPCA’s immigration work HERE.  More details on the lawsuit can also be found HERE.

Share this article