On March 9, 2021, the Biden administration declared that it had stopped defending the public charge rule enacted during the Trump administration. The Justice Department notified the Supreme Court of the new policy, leading to the dismissal of cases challenging the rule.

The public charge rule allowed for the rejection of green card applicants if they relied on or were likely to rely on public benefits. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas said, “The 2019 public charge rule was not in keeping with our nation’s values. It penalized those who access health benefits and other government services available to them.”

“The International Institute of New England welcomes this news,” said Jeff Thielman, President and CEO of the International Institute of New England. “Immigrants and refugees have been fearful of accessing public benefits and healthcare, including COVID-19 testing and vaccinations. No person or family should be at risk of losing their immigration or refugee status for receiving aid for which they are legally qualified.”

IINE remains steadfast in our commitment to welcome immigrants and refugees to New England and will continue to help our clients access the benefits they need.

You can read the Department of Homeland Security’s statement on the public charge rule here and their statement on litigation related to the public charge rule here.