WASHINGTON, D.C. – Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich argued to uphold the 2019 Public Charge Rule before the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) on Wednesday morning. The common-sense immigration policy requires certain noncitizens to be responsible, self-sufficient, and contributing members of society in order to obtain green cards. President Biden abandoned the rule earlier last year, but General Brnovich’s Office (AGO) stepped in, leading a coalition of 13 states to defend the law.
“The United States is indeed the land of the free and of industrious immigrants, but it is not a welfare state,” said Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich. “The Biden Administration has once again caved to far-left groups attempting to erase a common-sense law that we’ve had in various forms for more than 100 years.”
The United States has had a Public Charge requirement in one form or another for over a hundred years. Under the provisions, many noncitizens are not eligible to receive a green card if they receive government assistance. Refugees and asylees are exempt from the Public Charge requirement. In 2019, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a rule that clarified the definition of “public charge” to include anyone who received certain government benefits (like Medicaid or food stamps) for more than 12 months over a three-year period.
President Biden strategically abandoned the defense of the rule when he stepped into office, cutting a backroom deal with left-wing challengers. These actions broke from decades of bipartisan practice on how an administration should reverse a prior administration’s rule and deprived the states of their ability to act under the federal administrative procedures act. General Brnovich is asking SCOTUS to hold that states whose interests are affected by a rule can seek to intervene in federal courts when the Executive Branch stops defending a rule, as happened here.
SCOTUS accepted the case in October 2021.
Joining Arizona are the attorneys general of Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and West Virginia.
Listen to a copy of the SCOTUS arguments here.