San Francisco, CA — Chinese for Affirmative Action (CAA) applauds New York Federal Judge George B. Daniels for his decision to halt the implementation of expanded Public Charge rules. Judge Daniels’ decision provides respite for immigrants who are fearful of accessing public benefits during a worsening pandemic, and eases the chokehold on US immigration systems domestically and abroad. 

Expanded Public Charge rules were instituted by the Trump Administration earlier this year, aimed at inciting fear by penalizing immigrants for accessing life-saving public benefits. The Administration finalized the new policies in August 2019 and faced immediate legal challenges. 

Annette Wong, Director of Programs at CAA reflected, “Trump’s public charge policies are inhumane and indecent, relegating immigrants into the shadows and fearful of immigration consequences when accessing public benefits. Rather than addressing the health crisis, the Trump administration has continued to use the pandemic as an opportunity to scapegoat and exclude immigrants.”

In last week’s decision, citing the acute global health crisis associated with COVID 19, Judge Daniels issued two injunctions. The first injunction blocked the domestic implementation of the expanded rules by the Department of Homeland Security as long as the COVID-19 health emergency continues. The second injunction prevents the State Department from implementing public charge for immigrants seeking to immigrate through consulates and embassies abroad; it also blocks Trump’s Health Care Proclamation which requires immigrants to produce documented proof of healthcare during immigration. 

“We know that the pandemic is disproportionately impacting immigrants and people of color, as many are our nation’s essential workers. In order for our communities and our country to survive this pandemic, people must be able to seek medical treatment when they aren’t feeling well, and access life-saving basic services and resources, without fear,” said Jose Ng, Immigrant Rights Program Manager.  

Wong continues, “These injunctions constitute an important victory for immigrants and working class people, who are risking their lives to feed their families during this global pandemic. The court sent a clear signal by rebuking the Trump administration’s handling of COVID-19 and its xenophobic attacks on immigrants.”

CAA will be hosting a virtual workshop to update the community with the recent “public charge” injunctions and its implications to immigrant communities on Friday, August 21, 2020 at 4pm. Community members who are interested in participating, or have questions about how you might be impacted by public charge are encouraged to contact CAA’s Immigrant Rights program at 415.761.3222 for general inquiry and legal referrals. 


Chinese for Affirmative Action (CAA) is a community-based civil rights organization in San Francisco.  Our mission is to protect the civil and political rights of Chinese Americans and to advance multiracial democracy in the United States. We advocate for systemic change that protects immigrant rights, promotes language diversity, and remedies racial injustice.