The Trump administration has been working to change public charge, a reason an immigrant could be denied a green card or a visa, by making it harder for low- and moderate-income immigrants to prove they are not at risk of using certain public benefits in the future. Meanwhile, widespread media coverage of these changes, combined with the Trump administration’s negative rhetoric targeting immigrants and their families, has caused fear and uncertainty within immigrant communities.

This toolkit is designed to assist education and outreach workers presenting public charge information to immigrant community members. Some of the materials in the toolkit have a California focus or include California-specific details, but all materials remain useful for a national audience. Our goal is to spread accurate information about what public charge is and who is impacted by it, as many immigrants are not subject to public charge at all, are not eligible for the benefits that would subject them to public charge anyway, and/or are using benefits that are not considered as part of a public charge determination.

We hope that these resources will enable community organizations to provide clear, accessible information in community forums and other community events so that immigrants can make informed decisions about public benefits for themselves and their families.

Note: Many organizations, states, and agencies have challenged these changes in court. As these legal challenges continue, it is important to check for updates before speaking on what changes are in effect. Visit the ILRC’s website at for updates.