The so-called “public Charge” rule allowed officials to deny permanent legal residence (green cards) to immigrants who had received or who were deemed likely to need assistance from government programs, such as most forms of Medicaid and SNAP (food stamps). Last week the U.S. Department of Justice stopped defending this Trump Administration regulation, meaning that the final judgment of a federal district court stands and the rule has been permanently blocked nationwide.
The public charge rule was essentially a wealth test on lawful immigration that ran contrary to decades of settled law and the immigration priorities of the United States. It discouraged family unification and forced families to choose between health care, food, housing, and a future in the United States. Older adults and people with disabilities were particularly disadvantaged because factors such as age, health, income and employability were used to evaluate and deny green card applications under the rule.
The Center for Medicare Advocacy had joined many partner organizations in submitting comments and amicus briefs opposing the public charge rule. We applaud the Biden Administration’s decision to stop defending this harmful rule in court. We will continue to advocate for fair and humane immigration policies that do not discriminate on the basis of age, health, wealth, or disability.