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Texas Attorney General Sues Biden Administration Over Public Charge Rule Changes

— January 12, 2023

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton claims that recent changes to the so-called “public charge” rule will make it more difficult to determine whether green card applicants are likely to rely on government benefits.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration, challenging a recent change to the so-called “public charge” rule.

According to The Texas Tribune, the lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Virginia earlier this month.

In the lawsuit, Paxton claims that the White House “seeks to further its open borders policy by enacting a new agency rule that effectively nullifies federal law excluding aliens likely to become public charges.”

“The Administration’s new rule prevents consideration of statutorily required factors when determining whether an alien is likely to become a “public charge.” Aliens often provide documentation of financial support from family as proof that they won’t become a burden on taxpayers,” Paxton’s office wrote in a press release announcing the lawsuit. “But the Biden rule prohibits a robust and meaningful investigation into the veracity of this documentation. Attorney General Paxton’s lawsuit alleges that the December 2022 rule was adopted in violation of federal law and is arbitrary and capricious.”

A 2013 image of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. Image via Wikimedia Commons/user:Alice Linahan Voices Empower. (CCA-BY-2.0).

As has reported before, the Trump administration had, in 2019, expanded the same rule, affording immigration officials the authority to deny permanent resident status to applicants who had previously received government benefits, including food stamps, Medicaid, and housing assistance.

However, the Biden administration revised the rule again in 2021, implementing new guidance that defines a “public charge” as a person who receives cash assistance, or who receives benefits for long-term care and institutionalization.

“The rule restores the historical understanding of a ‘public charge’ that had been in place for decades, until the prior Administration began to consider supplemental public health benefits such as Medicaid and nutritional assistance as part of the public charge inadmissibility determination,” the Department of Homeland Security said in September. “The rule announced today speaks to the Biden Administration’s commitment to restoring faith in our legal immigration system.”

Paxton’s lawsuit seeks a court order finding that the Biden administration’s immigration rule is illegal and cannot be forced.

“I’ve sued Biden over a dozen times to secure our southern border,” Paxton wrote on Twitter shortly after filing the complaint. “I’ll keep suing & winning until he & his lawless Dems follow the law.”

“The Biden Administration is committed to opening the borders to aliens who lack the ability to take care of themselves. Texans should not have to pay for these costly immigrants, nor should any other American,” Paxton said in a separate statement. “I will continue to defend the rule of law and fight to ensure that the massive costs of illegal immigration don’t further burden taxpayers.”


Pax­ton Sues Biden Over New Rule that Increas­es Bur­den on Amer­i­can Tax­pay­ers From Ille­gal Immigration

Texas AG Ken Paxton sues Biden administration over enforcement of “public charge” law for immigrants

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