Since taking office, President Joe Biden has taken a series of steps to reverse Trump-era immigration policy, but with respect to at least one of those actions, his administration is facing notable pushback.
As Reuters reports, 14 Republican state attorneys general filed an emergency application Friday with the U.S. Supreme Court requesting permission to defend what is known as the “public charge” rule – an immigration policy implemented by former President Donald Trump – after the Biden administration signaled its unwillingness to do so.
The purpose of the public charge rule is to require prospective immigrants to demonstrate their ability to support themselves in a financial sense without relying on government welfare programs, and it was effectively reinstated by the Trump administration last February.
According to a press release issued by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) at the time, the rule requires officials to review factors such as a potential immigrant’s “age, health, family status, assets, resources, and financial status, education and skills, among others, in order to determine whether the alien is likely at any time to become a public charge.”
In early March, the Biden administration announced that it would no longer defend the Trump-era rule in pending legal challenges, including one before the U.S. Supreme Court, saying that doing so “is neither in the public interest nor an efficient use of limited government resources,” the Associated Press reported.
Days later, the administration took the step of formally rescinding the rule, with Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas declaring, “Today, DHS closed the book on the public charge rule,” according to The Hill.
These events led the aforementioned attorneys general, led by Texas AG Ken Paxton, to ask the Supreme Court to halt implementation of a federal court ruling from Illinois that negated enforcement of the rule on a nationwide basis and to allow the states to defend the policy amid the Biden administration’s unwillingness to do so, according to Reuters.
The attorneys general argue that the administration’s decision to abandon defense of the rule amounted to an attempt to sidestep the typically arduous process of undoing an existing federal regulation that impacts the states’ “important interests in conserving their Medicaid and related social-welfare budgets” among others, as The Epoch Times noted.
Biden’s unwillingness to defend a policy designed to foster self-sufficiency among new arrivals to the country is just the latest in a series of troubling indications that a massive influx of immigrants dependent on handouts from Democrats is not merely the unintended fallout from natural migration patterns, but rather has been the crux of the plan all along.