CWS Denounces Administration’s “Public Charge” Rule and Its Chilling Effect on Families



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CWS Denounces Administration’s “Public Charge” Rule and Its Chilling Effect on Families

Published Final Rule will Keep Families Separated and Afraid to Access Life-Saving Services


Washington, D.C. – Today, the Trump administration published its “public charge” rule to prevent individuals from entering the country, receiving a green card, or sponsoring family members unless they meet expanded criteria of wealth, employment, and education. It also expands the list of benefits considered when deeming someone a “public charge” and thus inadmissible or unable to adjust their immigration status.

Church World Service submitted an official comment in October when the administration first announced this proposed rule change, decrying that “These provisions would essentially wipe out the concept of the “American Dream”. Stories of individuals coming to United States with little more than the clothes on their backs would be no more than a distant memory, rather than the ongoing American success story.”

In response to the final rule, Rev. John L. McCullough, CWS President and CEO, issued the following statement:

“Hard-working immigrant families shouldn’t have to choose between family reunification and having enough to eat. Investing in nutrition, health care, and other essential needs keeps children learning, parents working, and families strong, and allows all of us to contribute fully to our communities. This an attack against families and children. This type of policy goes against the tenets of our faith traditions — to welcome and love our neighbors, and especially to care for our children.”

Recent reports show an alarming increase of immigration denials based on “public charge,” with over 12,000 rejections. This cruel expansion of the “public charge” definition will block immigrants from seeking a better life and a path to citizenship.


Since 1946, Church World Service has supported refugees, immigrants and other displaced individuals, in addition to providing sustainable relief and development solutions to communities that wrestle with hunger and poverty. Learn more about our work and join our global homebase for refugee solidarity at