National WIC Association

Public Charge and Immigration Resources

BREAKING: On January 27, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed for the Department of Homeland Security to move forward in implementing changes to public charge. Illinois still has a statewide injunction issued by a separate federal court that delays implementation within the state.

While an official timeline has not been announced, public charge changes will soon go into effect in 49 states (excluding Illinois).


Read our Public Charge Fact Sheet (available in English, Spanish, and French)

On January 27, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed a nationwide injunction that allows for implementation of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) final public charge rule. The final rule will significantly expand the government’s ability to deny immigrants legal status if they have accessed certain public benefits – namely Medicaid, SNAP, or housing assistance. WIC is not included in the final public charge rule. 

FAQs for participants and clinic staff

Escalation of ICE Presence

There has been an escalation of enforcement activity by the Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) division of the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS). NWA has received multiple reports of ICE presence outside WIC clinics, exacerbating an already significant chilling effect on families and discouraging participants from entering clinics.

Immigration Attorney Resources

Participants may have questions about immigration policy that go beyond the scope of WIC. Clinic staff may wish to encourage participants to reach out to an immigration lawyer. You can find a lawyer in your area at:

Research and Studies

Congress and the Administration have been contemplating changes to immigration policy, some of which could directly impact WIC participants. As clinics face a number of new questions from participants, NWA has assembled the resources below to assist WIC staff. Please feel free to reach out to NWA with any questions or concerns.

Please keep NWA informed!

NWA can be more effective in supporting clinics if we understand the concerns that participants are voicing each day. Whenever your clinic faces a concern around immigration policy, please fill out this survey to document the incident and inform NWA’s broader advocacy efforts.