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Biden admin won’t consider limiting immigration for migrants who will depend on government benefits

Kaylee Greenlee, DCNF

The Biden administration told the Supreme Court Tuesday it will not seek to expand the Trump-era decision to limit immigration for migrants who will depend on government benefits, NBC News reported.

The Department of Homeland Security under the Trump administration was working to expand the definition of “public charge” to include denying admission to migrants who might rely primarily on government benefits as a source of income, NBC News reported. Any migrant needing government assistance for over one year in any three-year period would have been included in the expanded definition.

The Trump administration proposed including non-cash government aid like Medicaid, federal housing assistance and supplemental nutrition programs to the public charge designation, NBC News reported.

Public charge has yet to be officially defined, though the federal government has been able to refuse admission to migrants who would likely fall into this category, NBC News reported.

The Trump administration sought to consider age, employment history, financial resources, and education and health when considering if a migrant would fall under public charge, NBC News reported. The Trump administration argued the expansion would support “the ideals of self-sufficiency and personal responsibility, ensuring that immigrants are able to support themselves and become successful here in America.”

The Trump administration appealed to the Supreme Court after enforcement of public charge under the expanded definition was blocked as lower courts were divided on whether the revision violated federal law, NBC News reported.

The Biden administration announced an agreement with the lower courts saying the cases should be dismissed, NBC News reported. Federal agencies were required to review the rule as part of an executive order signed by President Joe Biden.

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