Our Word on the Draft Executive Order re: “Public Charge”

February 1, 2017

You may have heard that the Trump administration is circulating a draft Executive Order that would greatly expand the definition of who is a “public charge”* under our immigration laws.  It would potentially count receipt of any federally-funded benefits that are based on income – like food stamps, medical care, and child care – to determine “public charge” for any person who is not a citizen.

We don’t yet know if this draft will be issued, or what it would look like in final form.

The draft memo acknowledges that new rules would have to go through the administrative process of public notice and public comment, which can take a long time.  Any new rule, if and when made final, should not apply retroactively.

We at the Law Center are reading the draft closely, and analyzing its potential reach.  When and if the final order is issued, we will tell you the possible implications for the children and families you serve. We will keep you apprised.

You can count on us to give you the legal answers you need for your clients when the time is right. In the meantime, try not to speculate or unnecessarily spread worry to the families that you serve.

The Child Care Law Center Team


*”Public charge” is a term used to describe someone who is dependent on public financial support. The immigration consequences of being found “likely to become a public charge” are that one is inadmissible to the United States and ineligible to become a legal permanent resident.