MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Leah Zallman, MD, MPH
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Harvard Medical School
Physician at Cambridge Health Alliance.
Director of Research
Institute for Community Health
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: In October 2018, the U.S Department of Homeland Security published a proposed change to a longstanding immigration rule. The proposed change would increase the chance of an immigrant being deemed a “public charge”, and increase the chance of being denied legal permanent residency or entry to the United States. Up to now, enrollment in public food, housing and health insurance programs were not counted against immigrants applying for “green cards”; the proposed rule change drastically changes the intent of the rule and newly includes food, housing and health insurance programs as benefits that can be considered counted against immigrants. These proposed changes are expected to cause many immigrant parents to disenroll their families from safety-net programs, largely because of fear and confusion about the rule – even among families to whom the rule does not technically apply.