On Tuesday, President Joe Biden’s administration notified the United States Supreme Court that it will no longer back a Trump policy that aims to impose new limitations in admitting immigrants who are possibly going to become dependent on benefits provided by the government.
In 2019, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said that it would expand what “public charge” means. This goes for individuals who might not receive approval of admission to the country due to a specific concern. The issue would be that these individuals may likely depend on government benefits to fund their stay in the country.
This designation was previously based on an assessment that finds out if a potential immigrant would solely depend on cash benefits. However, during former President Trump’s administration, the government started pushing to expand the definition. They wanted to include noncash benefits as the basis, including Medicaid, housing assistance and supplemental nutrition.
Any person who would require this broader range of benefits for more than a year in a three-year period will be included in the expanded definition.
Trump Policy Aimed to Expand “Public Charge” Title
For a long time, the government has the authority to decline the admission of immigrants who have a high possibility of becoming public charges. However, a formal definition for this has not existed before.
The Trump-era policy had proposed to define the term. Apart from the additional non-cash benefits it defined, it also added in several factors. These include age, employment, education, and health, among other things. The former administration argues that it helps enforce “self-sufficiency and personal responsibility” among immigrants. Also, it would make sure the immigrants coming to America would manage to support themselves.
This Trump policy has faced lawsuits. However, lower courts were torn on whether it violated federal law. Its enforcement was blocked either way. This made the Trump administration submit an appeal to the Supreme Court, which agreed last month to consider the said issue.
However, on Tuesday, the Justice Department told the court that the current administration stop defending the policy. It added that the court should dismiss cases with this charge as well.
Biden expressed his intent to tweak the policy last month when he signed an executive order for agencies to review the said rule.