President Joe Biden’s administration declined March 9 to defend in court a policy established by President Donald Trump that denied entry into the United States for immigrants that the government predicted would eventually need some kind of public benefits. The U.S. Supreme Court and the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed pending cases, and according to the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, which is headquartered in San Francisco, the Biden Administration’s decision means that the “public charge” rule officially reverts back to what it was before Trump changed it.
The resource center says Biden’s change returns the law to where it was in 1999 and makes it “safe for immigrants and their families to use health, nutrition, and housing programs for which they qualify.”
However, Louisiana Attorney Jeff Landry announced Thursday that he and the attorneys general in ten other states are “seeking to uphold a law that grants federal officials the ability to reject applications for visas, green cards, or entry into the United States if the applicants have a history of using public benefits and welfare.”
“President Trump updated our Nation’s immigration policy to ensure prospective immigrants be able to support themselves financially, not be primarily dependent on food stamps, cash assistance, Medicaid, Section 8 housing, and other government welfare,” Landry said. “If this latest legal surrender by the Biden Administration goes unchecked, Joe Biden will add even more burden on our already overstrained welfare programs for Americans most in need. Hard-working taxpayers in Louisiana should not have their tax money taken to fund those who wish to cross our border in search of free benefits.”
According to the National Association of State Budget Officers, across the country, the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program and other cash assistance programs “represented 1.2 percent of total state expenditures” in Fiscal Year 2020. In Louisiana in Fiscal Year 2020, those programs represented 0.4 percent of total expenditures.