Biden Review of Immigration ‘Wealth Test’ Halts Legal Challenge

A lawsuit challenging a Trump administration rule that withholds legal status to most immigrants who receive public assistance was suspended pending a review of the rule ordered by President Joe Biden.

The “public charge” rule sought to deny green cards to immigrants who used Medicaid, food stamps, housing vouchers or other forms of government assistance. Groups that sued over the public charge rule in 2019 said it effectively imposed a wealth test on immigrants.

Biden, who signed several executive orders in his first days in office aimed at overturning Donald Trump’s immigration policies, directed a 60-day review of the public charge rule. During his campaign, Biden had pledged to reverse it, saying the rule “runs counter to our values as Americans and the history of our nation.”

A federal court in New York had temporarily blocked the rule in May because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Trump’s Justice Department had been pursuing an appeal in the case, but the new administration agreed with plaintiffs to ask the federal appeals court in Manhattan to suspend the case for 90 days to provide time for the review. The court agreed to the delay Wednesday.

The case is Make the Road New York v. Pompeo, 20-3214, Second U.S. Circuit Court (Manhattan)

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