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AG Derek Schmidt asks Biden administration to withdraw proposed changes to ‘public charge’ policy

Release Date: Apr 27, 2022

TOPEKA – (April 27, 2022) – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt is calling on the Biden administration to withdraw its proposal to roll back changes to federal immigration policy that sought to ensure that prospective immigrants will not be a burden on U.S. taxpayers.

Schmidt joined attorneys general from 15 other states in submitting comments to the federal Office of Policy and Strategy within the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. At issue are proposed changes to a 2019 rule regarding whether a person seeking to enter the United States lawfully would be able to be self-sufficient, or become dependent on public services. The Biden administration sought to replace the policy upon taking office in 2021, but Schmidt and other attorneys general filed litigation to block the change. Those cases are currently pending before the U.S. Supreme Court and 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

However, the Biden administration has proceeded to propose its changes through the rulemaking process, proposing to replace the 2019 rule by stripping the statutory public charge provision enacted by Congress of important components in the process of determining whether an immigrant will be self-sufficient. Schmidt and the attorneys general argue that the $1 billion in savings to states brought by the 2019 rule would be eliminated, inflicting great harm to states in increased Medicaid and social-welfare costs.

“If the Proposed Rule is promulgated, certain classes of aliens will know that upon entering the United States they will be able to rely on government welfare programs, without fear of repercussions, as they build their lives in the states and eventually seek to obtain some form of lawful status,” the attorneys general wrote. “This policy will serve as an incentive for more immigration to our country under the Biden administration’s relaxed immigration regulations.”

A copy of the comment letter signed by Schmidt is available at https://bit.ly/3EQhMyK.

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News releases issued prior to 2011 are available through an archive hosted by the Kansas State Library.