Public Charge Interpretation Under Prior Administration Gone

As a result of Executive Order 14012 issued by President Biden on February 2, 2021, the Department of Homeland Security determined that continuing to defend the 2019 Public Charge Rule 1 (2019 Rule)- pursuant to which the lawful receipt of Medicaid, public housing, or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) could lead to a finding of inadmissibility neither in the public interest nor an efficient use of limited government resources.  
 
As Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement on March 9, 2021, "The 2019 public charge rule was not in keeping with our nation's values. It penalized those who access health benefits and other government services available to them." 
 
 The 2019 Rule created confusion and fear that may have prevented immigrants and their families, including their children, from accessing critical government services available to them. It is critical that immigrants and their families, many of whom are essential workers, can access necessary government services for which they may be eligible to keep their families safe and healthy.  
 
Consistent with that decision, the Department of Justice (DOJ) decided it would no longer pursue appellate review of judicial decisions invalidating or enjoining enforcement of the 2019 Rule.  
 
On March 9, 2021, DOJ filed motions to dismiss its appeals of rulings invalidating the 2019 Rule, including in both the Supreme Court and the Seventh Circuit.  
 
The result: A U.S. District Court judgment vacating the 2019 Rule is now in effect.
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