Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis issued the following statement in response to the Federal Administration’s final rule expanding the definition of a ‘public charge’:

“In yet another attack against our hard-working immigrant communities, the Trump Administration has announced it is moving ahead on its proposal to change the federal government’s longstanding policy on public charge by broadly defining who is labeled a ‘public charge.’ This inhumane policy shift would force immigrant families to make an impossible choice between putting food on the table or forgoing basic needs to ensure their families stay together in this country.

Federal law already requires those seeking green cards to show they will not be a burden to this country, otherwise known as a public charge. But, the Administration’s new rule includes a wider range of public assistance programs that could disqualify legal immigrants who are seeking a green card or an adjustment of their immigration status. This heartless rule will undermine access to health care for many legal immigrants who would rather skip medical appointments because they fear endangering their immigration status and that could create a public health crisis. This could affect our most vulnerable residents: the disabled, seniors, and children. Sacrificing care would lead to worsening medical conditions in which patients could end up in emergency rooms or at health care centers that do not receive federal funds.

This policy change denies the fact that we are a nation of immigrants. Through the centuries, immigrants have made this country what it is today: a global economic powerhouse. With this action, this Administration ignores those critical contributions by advocating for federal policies that separate immigrant children from their parents. This is part of this Administration’s pattern of bullying and attacking our most vulnerable residents who lack the power to fight back. This is not the America I know. The America I believe in serves as a beacon of tolerance, acceptance, and opportunity for all. I soundly reject this rule and the hate that inspired it. As directed by my previous Board motion that opposed this federal rule change, LA County Counsel is analyzing the rule and will make recommendations to possibly join legal action. In addition, the Office of Immigrant Affairs and other pertinent County Departments will inform residents about the rule’s potential impact on their individual situations, and will make referrals to legal aid when necessary.

LA County will continue to defend, protect, and fight for its most vulnerable residents.”


Contact: Rosa Maria Santana, 213-359-0795, or rsantana@bos.lacounty.gov