Public charge #general

Annette Stolberg <annettes@...>


I have been looking at the submissions to the Discussion Group regarding the
meaning of Public Charge. Briefly, Ida FAGELMAN was removed >from her mother's
home and sent to an orphanage. Three other children were placed in different
schools and orphanages.

In the case of Ida, her report card cited the reason for her dismissal as "sent
to a home". Additionally, "PC" was also anotated. She attended the Oliver
Wendel Holmes school, and resided at 147 Canterbury Street, both in Dorchester,

My question is: was "PC a legal term, referring to being supported by the State
of Massachusetts? If so, would there be records somewhere in Dorchester, or
Boston, Mass, Suffolk County, where records might still be held for Ida FAGELMAN?

Thank you.

Annette Stolberg, Rochester, NY


Stephen Katz

Annette Stolberg asked about the meaning of "Public Charge" in connection with
the exclusion of aliens >from entry into the US on the ground that they are
likely to become a public charge. Specifically, she asked, "was 'PC' a legal
term, referring to being supported by the State of Massachusetts" (the context
in which her question arose).

The exclusion of persons likely to become a public charge goes back to the
Immigration Act of 1882. The relevant provision stated that if the immigration
officer's examination of passengers "found among such passengers any convict,
lunatic, idiot, or any person unable to care for himself or herself without
becoming a public charge, ... such persons shall not be permitted to land."

That Act provided no definition of "public charge." However, the public charge
doctrine was continued and strengthened in several subsequent immigration acts,
and remains in force today.

The US Citizenship and Immigration Service has issued a "Public Charge Fact
Sheet" (accessible at which
summarizes the various provisions of the current Immigration and Nationality
Act, and related regulations, with regard to public charge. Included in that
fact sheet are a definition of "public charge" and the types of benefits that
are subject to being considered a public charge. Among them are "state or local
cash assistance programs for income maintenance."

Stephen KATZ

Researching: KATZ (Novograd-Volynsk, Ukraine and Boston, Mass.); TEPPER
(Novograd-Volynsk and Rovno (Rivne), Ukraine, and New York City); KAPLAN
(Stakliskes, Lithuania, and central Mass.); KABACHNIK (Butrymonis, Lithuania);
VITKIN (Kaunas, Lithuania, and Boston,Mass.); GREENBERG/BLOCH, Vilna, Lithuania,
and Boston, Mass.); BLUM, LEVINE (Boston, Mass.)