Last Tuesday, March 9, 2021, the Biden Administration asked the Supreme Court to dismiss a case generated by the Trump Administration to enforce their changes in the “public charge” rule. The action is expected to have the effect of rolling back the Trump rule and retore the rule to the 1999 version.


The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) implemented the public charge rule on February 24, 2020, expanding the definition of “public charge” as it applies to immigrants legally seeking to enter the United States or adjusting their legal status (green card status). For people entering the country, there has been a test of whether an individual legally entering the country will become a public charge to the country based on the use of particular human service supports. Under the Trump rule, the Administration would be required to consider the use of health care, housing, and nutrition programs as a potential sign that a person will become a public charge.


The changes had dramatically expanded the definition of public charge and threatened to deny or scare away people in need of basic human services, including health care. The policy lets officials deny green cards to legal immigrants who have used or are deemed likely to use food stamps, Medicaid, and other safety-net programs for a certain amount of time.    CWLA opposed the 2019 public charge rule and submitted comments (2018)


The Supreme Court action follows President Biden’s earlier action that ordered officials to start a review of the policy known as the “public charge” rule. Before the November election, the Trump administration appealed to the Supreme Court to weigh in again on the validity of the policy. The justices last month said they would take the case.