Sep 8, 2022 - Politics & Policy

DHS issues final rule to rescind Trump's "public charge" policy

Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas speaks during an event on funding climate resilience at Florida International University in Miami, Florida on August 1, 2022.
Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas speaks during an event at Florida International University in Miami, Florida on Aug. 1. Photo: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

The Department of Homeland Security on Thursday issued its final rule to rescind a Trump-era immigration policy that limited benefits for immigrants who used public assistance benefits, such as housing vouchers or Medicaid.

Driving the news: The DHS law rolls back Trump's "public charge" immigration rule, which restricted immigration benefits for foreigners who "are likely to become primarily dependent on the government for subsistence," per the DHS.

  • The new rule "restores the historical understanding of a ‘public charge’ that had been in place for decades," DHS said, adding that the Trump administration considered "supplemental public health benefits ... as part of the public charge inadmissibility determination."
  • The Biden administration stopped enforcing the rule within months of taking office, Politico reports.

What they're saying: "This action ensures fair and humane treatment of legal immigrants and their U.S. citizen family members," Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement.

  • "Consistent with America’s bedrock values, we will not penalize individuals for choosing to access the health benefits and other supplemental government services available to them."

What to watch: The final rule is set to go into effect on Dec. 23.

Go deeper... The real impact of Trump's "public charge" immigration rule

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