Press Release: Governor Kate Brown Statement On Federal Public Charge Rule Taking Effect

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Governor Kate Brown issued the following statement on the expansion of the federal public charge rule, which takes effect today:

“We will never stand for intolerance in Oregon. Our state would not be the Oregon we know today without the contributions of immigrants throughout our history. Immigrants are indispensably woven into the fabric of our communities, our economy, and our way of life. We are a state, and a nation, built on the promise that all people are welcome here, and that everyone should be free to pursue the American Dream and a better life for their families.

"This new rule from the Trump Administration was designed to send exactly the opposite message, to confuse and intimidate working immigrants simply for seeking to ensure their families are healthy, fed, and sheltered in hard times when they cannot make ends meet.

“To all who have made Oregon their home and are worried about the impact of this rule: You are welcome here. You are valued. State agencies will work with you to make sure you receive the public services you and your families need to thrive.”

The expanded public charge rule could make it more difficult for immigrants who live in the United States legally to secure a green card or visa if they apply for health care benefits like the Oregon Health Plan, public food benefits, or housing benefits.

Enabled by a 5-4 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, the federal government is moving forward with implementation of the rule despite pending legal challenges from several states, including Oregon.

The public charge rule does not apply to all immigrants, and not all public benefits count towards public charge. More information about the public charge rule, including translated materials, are available on the websites of the Oregon Health Authority and the Department of Human Services.

Those concerned about how public charge may impact them can also call the Oregon Public Benefits Hotline at 1-800-520-5292 or find an immigration attorney at oregonimmigrationresource.org.

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