Biden Administration will not defend Trump era “public charge” rule

March 17, 2021

On March 9, 2021, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced that the federal government under the Biden Administration will no longer be defending the 2019 “public charge” rule proposed by the Trump Administration that would have allowed federal officials to deny green cards to legal immigrants who use public benefits or who are deemed likely to do so in the future.

Continuing to defend the rule “is neither in the public interest nor an efficient use of limited government resources,” the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said in a statement.

The U.S. Department of Justice has also dismissed its pending appeals in the U.S. Supreme Court and the federal circuit courts. Therefore, the final judgement from the Northern District of Illinois ruling, which vacated the public charge rule, will go into effect.

This rule would have had a dramatic impact in California, where more than 10 million immigrants call California home and half of all children in the state having an immigrant parent. The California Medical Association (CMA) was steadfast in its opposition to the Trump Administration’s public charge rule because it targeted immigrant families, jeopardized public health and would deter millions of people from receiving critical health care services.

CMA previously submitted formal comments to the Department of Homeland Security on the proposed rule, raising concerns that the rule could cause confusion and panic among many immigrants, even those not subject to the rule, and lead millions of people to forego essential health care services. CMA believes we should be working together to find ways to make care more affordable and more accessible to all Californians.

CMA will aggressively challenge any efforts to take health care away from California residents and will continue to work with state leaders to stand up to misguided public policies that will harm California families.


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