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  • Washington Highlights

    AAMC Comments on Proposals Defining ‘Public Charge’


    Phoebe Ramsey, Director, Physician Payment & Quality
    For Media Inquiries

    The AAMC submitted comments on April 25 to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regarding its notice of proposed rulemaking, “Public Charge Ground of Inadmissibility” [refer to Washington Highlights, Feb. 25]. The DHS proposed new key terms and criteria for determining public charge grounds of inadmissibility for noncitizens entering the United States and whether a noncitizen who is legally in the country should be able to change their immigration status to become a permanent resident.

    The AAMC’s comments supported the DHS proposal to narrowly define “likely at any time to become a public charge” consistent with congressional intent and historic understanding. Additionally, the AAMC supported proposals to limit definitions of public benefits considered for public charge determinations to “public cash assistance for income maintenance” and “long-term institutionalization at government expense” when considering whether immigrants seeking to enter the United States or change their status are likely to become a public charge. “Adopting narrow definitions ... supports a policy that the receipt of temporary health care, nutrition, or housing assistance is not an indication that a person is primarily reliant on the Federal government.”

    Finally, the AAMC’s letter continued a previous request to the DHS to acknowledge that incoming international students, medical residents, physicians, scientists, and researchers are unlikely to become a public charge in part by making it clear that letters from sponsoring institutions documenting an individual’s ability to meet federal income and insurance requirements are sufficient proof for admittance into the United States without delay.