AG Brnovich Calls on Biden Administration to Withdraw Proposed Rule That Weakens Public Charge Standards

PHOENIX -- Today, Attorney General Mark Brnovich submitted comments urging the Biden administration to withdraw their proposed rulemaking “Public Charge Ground of Inadmissibility,” 87 Fed. Reg. 10,570. The proposed rule comes in the midst of pending litigation surrounding the Trump Administration’s 2019 Final Rule, which General Brnovich personally defended at the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) in February 2022.

“The Biden Administration remains determined to undermine even the most basic elements of common sense and public safety at our southern border,” said Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich. “The Public Charge Rule should be earnestly enforced as it prevents the exhaustion of  welfare programs that serve as a vital safety net for Americans in crisis.”

The Trump administration vigorously defended challenges to the 2019 Rule, but when President Biden took office, the Executive Branch stopped defending the 2019 Final Rule and used an unreviewed district court decision as justification to abruptly remove the 2019 Rule without notice and comment. Multiple states, including Arizona, sought to intervene in order to properly defend the 2019 Rule, and those cases are currently pending before SCOTUS and the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

But now the Biden administration has a proposed rule that is not sufficient to replace the 2019 Final Rule. It strips the statutory Public Charge provision of important components in the process of determining whether an alien will be self-sufficient and ultimately weakens the definition of a “public charge.” The 2019 Rule was estimated to save the states over one billion dollars annually, and if finalized, the newly proposed rule would inflict great harm to the states in Medicaid and social-welfare costs.

The comments filed by General Brnovich are here.