President Joe Biden’s administration eliminated a Trump-era immigration policy Thursday that allowed the U.S. government to deny immigrants permanent legal status for relying on government assistance, The Hill reported.
Former President Donald Trump’s administration extended the public charge rule in 2019 to deny immigrants permanent legal status for reliance on Medicaid, cash assistance and housing assistance. Alejandro Mayorkas, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, announced in a statement that the administration has “closed the book” on the rule, The Hill reported.
“The 2019 public charge rule was not in keeping with our nation’s values,” Mayorkas said. “It penalized those who access health benefits and other government services available to them.”
Yesterday I announced that @DHSgov will no longer defend the #PublicCharge rule, as it was not in keeping with our nation’s values: https://t.co/seDZ9WOIdF. Consistent with @POTUS‘s vision, we will continue to implement reforms that improve our legal immigration system.
— Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas (@SecMayorkas) March 10, 2021
The administration will return to the 1999 interim field guidance, replaced by the 2019 rule, which does not include immigrants relying on Medicaid, public housing, a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and medical treatment, according to the DHS.
President Biden issued an executive order titled “Restoring Faith in Our Legal Systems And Strengthening Integration And Inclusion Efforts for New Americans” demanded that the public charge rule be reviewed by the DHS and the Department of Justice and State, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday dropped a Trump administration appeal to uphold the restrictions, The Hill reported. Several GOP state attorneys attempted to keep the Trump administration’s rule in place.
Arizona attorney general Mark Brnovich told The Hill the Republican state attorneys are trying to ensure residents of the U.S. are self-sufficient.
“All we are trying to do is uphold common sense immigration rules that ensure that folks that come to this country can be truly self-sufficient. This policy ensures our government welfare programs won’t be overrun,” Brnovich told The Hill.
The rule would have impacted about half a million legal immigrants applying for permanent residency, USA Today reported.