Biden Administration Halts Enforcement of 2019 Public Charge Rule


This Wednesday, the Biden administration announced the end of the 2019 “public charge” restrictions following the reinstatement of a federal court order blocking the policy. The Department of Homeland Security determined the legal battles the policy incurred to be an inefficient use of government resources, and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas described the 2019 policy as “not in keeping with our nation’s values.”

The 2019 “public charge” rule was a Trump-era policy that targeted low-income immigrants and erected major barriers in the green card application process. It granted the government broader discretion to reject green card applications from individuals suspected of relying on public benefits. The restrictions also applied to those only considered “at risk” of reliance. It was widely denounced by immigration advocates.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will now refer to the 1999 version of the policy. This means that USCIS will no longer be considering an applicant’s receipt of “Medicaid (except for long-term institutionalization at the government’s expense), public housing, or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits” when determining public charge inadmissibility. In addition, green card applicants will no longer need to include Form I-944 when applying from within the U.S.


Read the USCIS statement here: