The Nevada Current: Increased Medicaid coverage for immigrants linked to reversal of ‘public charge’ rule

Jeniffer Solis || The Nevada Current || April 7th, 2022

Since the Biden administration the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has announced the use of benefits will not determine eligibility for U.S. citizenship. That change in tone was an important factor in establishing trust with immigrant populations, said Rico Ocampo, an organizer for the immigrant rights group Make the Road Nevada.

“The underlying tone or rhetoric that came from the previous administration set a lot of immigrants sitting on needles,” Ocampo said.

The rule change also had a cooling effect on immigrants with U.S. citizen children who are eligible for benefits, even among their own members, said Ocampo.

“Many times we’ve seen families having to choose whether to get services for their U.S. citizen children or risk running into the public charge rule,” Ocampo said. “It’s had a big impact on communities that are in need of these resources and services.”