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This article was originally published in The Texas Observer on October 16, 2019.

The Texas Observer reported on the consequences of the “public charge” rule, which would make it harder for certain immigrants to receive a green card if they have used a range of public benefits, like Medicaid, SNAP, and housing programs. The “public charge” rule could lead to significant public health consequences if low-income individuals forgo preventative care, and instead seek treatment in emergency rooms, hospitals and community-based clinics where they will not receive reimbursement for the expenses. Elizabeth Hasse, Tahirih Houston Staff Attorney, spoke about a client who decided to not renew the benefits that her family was receiving due to fear of it impacting her green card application. Hasse commented:

“I was surprised because she’s a client who really needs those benefits and her children have consistently received them for many years. And out of fear, without even asking me about it, she just decided on her own that she was going to try to make it without.”

Read the full article here.