Biden ends Trump-era rule that limited migrants on public assistance trying to get legal status

"Public charge" is defined as someone who is "primarily dependent" on government assistance.

Updated: September 9, 2022 - 1:54pm

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The Department of Homeland Security has finalized putting an end to a Trump administration policy that limited the ability of migrant on public benefits attaining legal status. 

The back-and-forth changes are being made to a decades-old regulation known as "public charge."

"This action ensures fair and humane treatment of legal immigrants and their U.S. citizen family members," Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said Thursday in announcing that guidelines for the so-called public charge will revert to the previous ones.

"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," he also said.

Under current regulations, the term "public charge" is defined as someone who is "primarily dependent" on government assistance, meaning the government supplies over half of their income, according to CNN.

    Prior to the Trump administration, only cash benefits such as the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program or Supplemental Security Income from Social Security was counted as assistance, CNN also reports.

    President Trump widened the definition of who is expected to be dependent on the government by including more benefit programs, CNN also reports.