Federal Appeals Court Allows Public Charge Implementation in Most States, Including California


Two weeks ago, we shared the good news that a federal court had issued two nationwide injunctions blocking implementation of the Trump administration’s ‘public charge’ rules until the COVID-19 national emergency was over. Due to ongoing litigation, the DHS nationwide injunction is no longer effective nationwide.

On August 12, 2nd Circuit Judge Peter Hall limited the ban by lifting the injunctions in every state except New York, Connecticut, and Vermont. Unfortunately, this means implementation of the new public charge test will continue in California.

New developments in ongoing litigation may continue to change how the public charge rule is applied. Unchanged, however, is the motivation behind the rule: this wealth test is designed to instill fear and discourage immigrants from seeking critical services. We commit to continue to fight for access to public benefits for all immigrants without the fear of public charge or immigration consequences.


Most immigrants who will face a public charge test are not eligible for CalFresh or the other benefits weighed in that test. We encourage immigrants to access services that keep them healthy without fear of immigration consequences. If you are eligible for CalFresh, Medi-Cal, and/or housing assistance—keep getting the help you need!

Questions? Contact Gabby Tilley at gabby@cfpa.net