DHS is finalizing the long-awaited public charge rule, codifying an inadequate threshold that shakes up the congressional objective, decades of precedent, and the essential American ethos of self-reliance.
In 1882, Congress banned “anyone unable to care for themselves without becoming a public charge.”
In 1996, Congress approved the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act to declare a national policy on self-sufficiency and immigration. The statement said aliens in the U.S. shouldn’t rely on public resources lest they encourage immigration.
Temporary guidance regulated the public charge doctrine for approximately 30 years. This restricted understanding was temporary. Liberal activist courts nullified the only substantive modifications to the rule during the Trump presidency to undercut this reasonable requirement.
Biden giving more to illegals Just changed a 100 year old ruling. Why are illegals so important to DEMs??? You have to wonder. There are plenty of citizens in need. https://t.co/ddOSihJ1YA
— Mike (@MGupdate) September 14, 2022
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The Biden presidency has used this to create a weak rule that violates Congress’ intent on PRWORA. Only cash assistance or long-term institutional care can trigger a public charge finding.
The regulation ignores federal, state, municipal, and tribal issued medical, residential, educational, and other public benefits. It overlooks the huge cost of these benefits to the state and taxpayers.
With the vast list of foreigners eligible for public services and the even longer roster of aliens exempt from this provision, states and municipalities distribute billions a year of medical and housing aid to immigrant populations.
Congress expected aliens to avoid governmental assistance. Self-sufficiency was a hallmark of American heritage, and anything else would encourage migrants, which frustrates our economy and empties our government treasury.
The Biden administration’s proposed rule contradicts the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act’s merit-based immigration system by excluding most public benefits.
The proposed Biden regulation states foreigners have long avoided public benefits, yet public charge decisions have never been properly used as Congress intended. Rarely are immigration benefits refused because an alien or family member received a public benefit.
In most cases, when public assistance is suspected to be needed, a friend or family files a form affidavit promising to maintain the foreigner. The government nearly never enforces these legally enforceable contracts when a foreigner obtains a taxpayer-funded public benefit.
This new rule provides no extra enforcement mechanism, per usual. Enforcement is anathema to the Biden administration’s efforts to “tear down immigration obstacles” and open our borders to unlimited immigration.
As DHS rests on its shoulders and claims it’s not punishing aliens and is constructing a “fair and humane” system, it’s hurting and financially indebting states, towns, and taxpayers.
With the public charge doctrine virtually gone, the incentives for aliens seeking residency permits to use the programs are gone, leaving an unfunded mandate.
As state attorneys general plan litigation to stop this new rule, state legislators must act. Limiting public benefits for unlawful and lawful aliens and implementing tight eligibility requirements would help.
Congress must pass legislation to counter our immigration system’s laxity and the public welfare obligations a meritless public charge concept creates. Statutory definitions and explicit government instructions are the only available avenues to ensuring compliance.
DHS abuses the rule-making process to implement the administration’s open-borders agenda. This latest effort follows on the heels of several legally problematic moves in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and asylum situations.
Since the administrative state and irresponsible federal bureaucracy don’t respect legislation or congressional purpose, states must ensure that the judicial system rein in the flagrant abuse of a swollen and unrestrained executive branch.