Neal, Pallone Applaud Biden Administration’s Final Public Charge Rule
WASHINGTON, DC—Today, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-MA) and Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) applauded the Biden Administration’s final rule restoring longstanding policy on the treatment of noncitizens seeking government assistance. Soon, legal immigrants will be able to access health care and other supplemental government services without the fear of being considered a “public charge” and therefore harmfully impacting their immigration status. The Trump Administration upended this policy to expand the definition to include more programs that are crucial for low-income workers and families and created a chilling effect for those in need.
“The Trump administration’s harmful rule upending decades of settled law has made many legal immigrant families afraid to seek help they need, even for citizen family members or for immigrants specifically exempt from ‘public charge’ rules under law, like refugees and asylees,” the Chairmen emphasized. “So many will be able to take a deep sigh of relief when this rule comes into effect, and we applaud the Biden Administration for not only listening to Congress but also prioritizing the voices of the families following all the rules. This final rule makes sense and will allow so many to access their rightful benefits.”
During the prior Administration’s rulemaking process, Neal and Pallone called on then-Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to withdraw the proposed rule, citing its potential to decrease participation in vital public assistance programs. The lawmakers also noted that Congress intended for these individuals to participate in these programs and DHS was inappropriately intervening.