DHS unwinds Trump-era 'public charge' rule for immigrants

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The Department of Homeland Security on Thursday finalized a regulation rolling back a policy instituted under former President Donald Trump that sought to limit immigration benefits for those likely to rely on government aid.

The new law unravels the Trump-era public-charge rule, under which immigrants could be denied permanent resident status if they had received or were expected to receive food assistance, Medicaid, housing assistance, or other public benefits. The Biden administration in stopped enforcing that regulation in March 2021.

“This action ensures fair and humane treatment of legal immigrants and their U.S. citizen family members,” Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement. “Consistent with America’s bedrock values, we will not penalize individuals for choosing to access the health benefits and other supplemental government services available to them.”

The rule, which goes into effect Dec. 23, follows a rule finalized late last month bolstering the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

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