Supreme Court’s Decision on Public Charge Rule 
Jan. 29, 2020
As you may have already heard, the Supreme Court issued an order on Jan. 27, 2020, lifting the injunction on the Public Charge rule. The Public Charge rule, unveiled in August, impacts people who receive most forms of Medicaid, food stamps and housing vouchers. It was immediately met with opposition from advocates and several states, which argued that the changes would penalize immigrants who rely on temporary assistance from the government and impose costs on the state. Monday’s order means the rule can go into effect in every state, pending appeal.  

Head Start California (HSC) is disappointed in the decision by the Supreme Court and continue to oppose any federal Public Charge policies that restricts access to vital social programs for families in California.  

This rule does not impact Head Start’s families’ ability to access child care assistance, but it is likely that families will fear using any part of the wraparound and safety-net services our programs provide. The Public Charge rule will hurt our programs’ ability to serve low-income children and families throughout this state due to the fear created by this rule which we’ve seen has already reduced participation in public assistance programs. 

We, at HSC, will continue to support our children and families by letting them know what resources are available to them, and will keep you informed of any further developments. HSC is appreciative that California will continue to fight against these Public Charge efforts. California is actively reviewing the decision to determine next steps and provide further guidance to impacted Californians. We urge that anyone concerned about this ruling should seek qualified immigration advice.  

The final rule will not apply to all immigrants or all government programs, and a list of nonprofit organizations providing free legal immigration services can be found on the California Department of Social Services website here.