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Joe Biden admin will not defend ‘public charge’ rule in courts

The Times of India logo The Times of India 11-03-2021 Lubna Kably
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MUMBAI: The Biden administration will not be defending the challenge brought against the public charge rule, in the US court. Alejandro N. Mayorkas, Secretary, Department of Homeland Security, has stated that the US government will no longer defend the 2019 public charge rule as doing so is neither in the public interest nor an efficient use of limited government resources.

“The 2019 public charge rule was not in keeping with our nation’s values. It penalized those who access health benefits and other government services available to them,” he said. “Consistent with the President’s vision, we will continue to implement reforms that improve our legal immigration system,” he added.

This rule made it difficult for immigrants to obtain legal status, if they used certain public benefits like Medicaid, food stamps and housing vouchers. Following this announcement, the Department of Justice dismissed its pending appeal in the US Supreme Court and other courts.

As TOI had reported, majority of the H-1B visa holders, who constitute a significant chunk of the Indian diaspora in the US, would not be likely to fall afoul of the ‘public charge’ rule. However, it would require them to attest self-sufficiency at the time of seeking an extension or change in status – (eg: from student visa to H-1B).

READ ALSO: Draft proposes fresh US immigration curb

However, it was felt that in some circumstances it could adversely affect sponsorship of family, such as parents, for a green card.

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