Press release – ADAPT demands USCIS end the “public charge” rule

For More information:
Ami Hyten: (785) 220-6469,
Jennifer McPhail: (512) 627-5869,
Cassie Holdsworth: (215) 219-0694,

WHAT: ADAPT demands USCIS end the “public charge” rule and the discriminatory practices
WHERE: 20 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20529
WHEN: October 21, 2019

United States immigration law explicitly limits individuals with “physical and mental disorders” who may have “harmful behaviors” that pose a threat to oneself or others. (8 USC 1182 §212(a)(2)(A)(iii)).

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) is responsible for enforcing this facially discriminatory law. But for this department, facially discriminatory laws are a starting point for even more discriminatory policies. This Department’s proposed expansions of the “public charge” is unprecedented in its attack against children, LGBTQ individuals, any people seeking medical care, and people with disabilities. Millions of families could be negatively impacted by the public charge.

The public charge and other discriminatory practices of USCIS, including refusals to provide accommodations to applicants with disabilities, reflect a pervasive policy shift against marginalized people seeking entry to the United States. Executive orders, proclamations, and proposed rules all have been orchestrated to exclude marginalized immigration applicants.

As of last week, eight federal district courts have taken a stand against this agency and their deeply harmful, discriminatory practices.

ADAPT stands with our families, friends, and neighbors seeking entry into the country. ADAPT recognizes the promise of community as a promise to all people. ADAPT wholeheartedly endorses the characterization of USCIS policies from the U.S. District Court Judge Daniels as, “repugnant to the American Dream of the opportunity for prosperity and success,” with “zero precedent” for the expansion of the public charge to limit immigrants’ access to the country.

Human and civil rights cannot be limited by prejudices on the basis of disability, family, LGBTQIA+, race, or socio-economic status. ADAPT Demands:

  • USCIS must repeal the proposed expansion to the “public charge”, Administrative Orders, and Proclamations that limit immigration access because of disability, family, LGBTQIA+, race, or socio-economic status.
  • USCIS must direct counsel at the Department of Justice to abandon defense of these policies in all federal district court cases.
  • USCIS must aggressively implement accommodation practice and procedures to ensure all applicants can equally understand and access the immigration application process.

For decades ADAPT has worked to secure for disabled Americans the same rights and liberties enjoyed by their nondisabled neighbors. ADAPT’s history, the issues we are fighting for and our activities can be followed on our web site at, our ADAPT Facebook page and on Twitter – look for #ADAPTandRESIST