The Boston Foundation criticizes proposed rule change on immigrants and “public charge”

September 25, 2018

Boston The Boston Foundation today issued the following statement on a proposed rule change that would broadly expand the definition of how an immigrant could be classified as a “public charge,” a person who is likely to become dependent on the government for financial and material support. 

“The Boston Foundation stands strong with dozens of other organizations in opposition to proposed changes in the definition of who is a “Public Charge.”

“The proposed changes will serve as a means to intimidate immigrants from seeking food, health or housing assistance in times of need, putting both their own and their families’ health and wellness at risk. The changes will discourage immigrants seeking green card status from reaching out for any benefits, including those to which they are rightfully entitled, or those made necessary by disaster or other unexpected hardships, such as the recent gas explosions in the Merrimack Valley.

“Today’s immigrants are the latest in a long line of hard-working individuals and families seeking opportunity. Rather than stigmatizing, intimidating and threatening them as they seek more permanent status in the United States, we should focus on giving them opportunities to succeed. We all benefit from the critical role immigrants play in the vibrancy of our communities - we stand with those who seek to open doors for them as welcome contributors to our city and region, not shut them out through bureaucratic means.”


The Boston Foundation, Greater Boston’s community foundation, is one of the largest community foundations in the nation, with net assets of more than $1 billion. In 2017, the Foundation and its donors paid $130 million in grants to nonprofit organizations and received gifts of more than $194 million. The Foundation is a close partner in philanthropy with its donors, with more than 1,000 separate charitable funds established either for the general benefit of the community or for special purposes. It also serves as a major civic leader, think tank and advocacy organization, commissioning research into the most critical issues of our time and helping to shape public policy designed to advance opportunity for everyone in Greater Boston. The Philanthropic Initiative (TPI), a distinct operating unit of the Foundation, designs and implements customized philanthropic strategies for families, foundations and corporations around the globe. For more information about the Boston Foundation and TPI, visit or call 617-338-1700.