County of Marin Health and Human Services

Public Charge

What is Public Charge?

Public charge is part of immigration law that has been used by federal authorities for decades. It is designed to determine whether someone may become dependent on government assistance benefits as their main source of support. If the government determines someone is likely to become a public charge, they can deny admission to the U.S. or refuse an application for lawful permanent residency.

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What’s Happening and Why Are We Concerned?

After announcing its intention to make alterations to existing law in September 2018, the Department of Homeland Security published its final public change rule on the Federal Register on October 15, 2019. The rule’s proposed revisions would negatively impact many of the valued community members we serve.

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Trainings and Events


Fighting the Chilling Effect: Ensuring the Health and Well-Being of Immigrants

Updates on Public Charge and Older Immigrants

Public Charge Update for Non-Legal Services Providers

Public Charge Updates

  • Date: March 17, 2020
  • Time: 11:00 am - 12:30 pm Pacific Time
  • Location: Online
  • Presenters: Erin Quinn - ILRC Senior Staff Attorney, Ariel Brown, ILRC Special Projects Attorney, and Sarah Lakhani, ILRC Skadden Fellow

Need community education around public charge?

Staff from Canal Alliance is available to speak at meetings or workshops (in English or Spanish) to explain and lead a discussion of the public charge issue.  If you are interested, please contact Lauren Silver at:


Public Charge: Potentially Chilled Population Dashboard
“Chilling Effects” of the Proposed Public-Charge Rule in Marin County, CA