Immigrant Relations

Provides education and resources that help local governments, community partners, and other entities understand the issues, needs, and contributions of immigrants.

Public Charge

Our Agency is thrilled to let you know that President Biden has taken action to end the Trump public charge policy. It is now safe for immigrants and their families to use the health, nutrition, and housing programs to which they are legally entitled without fear or confusion.

Specifically:

  • Use of Medi-Cal, CalFresh, public housing, and section 8 voucher rental assistance will NO LONGER be considered when applying for legal permanent residency or entry into the United States.
  • Medical treatment, testing or preventive services for COVID-19, including vaccines, will not be considered for public charge purposes.
  • The only programs considered when applying for legal permanent residency or entry into the country are:  
    • Cash assistance programs, such as CalWORKs, General Assistance, and SSI
    • Institutional long-term care paid for by Medi-Cal

As an Agency, we believe that public benefits strengthen families and serve the public good. With the ongoing public health emergency and economic hardship, we are committed and support access to services for all people and families living in Alameda County, regardless of immigrant status. Everyone must have access to medical care, nutrition, housing and essential services to thrive. We continue to encourage clients and members of the public to contact the Bay Area Legal Aid Free Legal Advice Line at (800) 551-5554 if they have questions about how the use of public benefits may impact their immigration status.

Alameda County was the first County in the state of CA to officially oppose the expansion of the definition of public charge back in October 2017.  We worked closely with other County Departments, Board of Supervisors, County Counsel, and community partners to support the legal challenge of this rule.  We applaud the Biden administration for taking swift action to protect working immigrants and their families.

Alameda County Public Charge Public Service Announcement

Remember:

Rules and regulations for California's public assistance eligibility for benefits and services have not changed.

Information given to SSA is confidential and only used to determine eligibility for benefits. The federal government does not have access the Agency's systems for immigration enforcement action.

Do not let fear of your immigration status or lack thereof stop you from seeking help. Services are available for individuals of any status.