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Biden Administration Orders Review of ‘Public Charge’ Rule

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On Feb. 2, President Biden signed an executive order focused on immigration policy. Included in the order are instructions to relevant federal agencies to review actions implementing the previous administration’s “public charge” rule, which allows immigration officials to consider legal immigrants’ use of federal nutrition, housing, and health programs – including Medicaid – in their applications for residency. 

The order also directs federal agencies to identify steps they should take to communicate changes in public charge policies. Research shows that not only did the public charge policy reduce the use of public benefits by immigrants seeking resident status, but confusion about the policy resulted in the reduced use of public benefits by immigrants who have resident status.