Attorney General Brnovich Urges SCOTUS to Uphold 2019 Public Charge Rule

PHOENIX – Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich filed a brief with the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) to defend the Public Charge Rule, which ensures that certain noncitizens are able to financially support themselves in order to become U.S. citizens or to obtain green cards. President Biden abandoned the rule earlier this year, and General Brnovich's Office (AGO) stepped in to defend the law, leading a coalition of 13 states.

“Congress has had a public charge requirement in one form or another for over a century, and it must be maintained,” said Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich.  “It’s a common-sense principle that new arrivals be financially self-sufficient to avoid overwhelming our welfare programs and exhausting emergency resources for Americans in crisis."

Congress has had a Public Charge requirement in one form or another for over a hundred years. Under the public charge provisions, many noncitizens are not eligible to receive a green card if they receive government assistance. The receipt of monetary benefits from the government has always triggered ineligibility. In 2019, the Department of Homeland Security created a rule that clarified that the definition of “public charge” includes anyone who received certain government benefits (like Medicaid or food stamps) for more than 12 months over a three-year period.

Arizona and the other states have a significant interest in upholding the Public Charge Rule because it reduces demand on already over-stretched government assistance programs. The federal government estimated the rule will save the states $1.01 billion annually.

SCOTUS accepted the case in October 2021.

Joining Arizona are attorneys general from the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and West Virginia.

Arguments will be scheduled before SCOTUS in due time.

Copy of the brief here