Supreme Court Dismisses GOP-led Lawsuit’s Attempt to Defend Trump-era Public Charge

(San Francisco, CA)—The Supreme Court’s decision today to dismiss an effort by 13 GOP-led states to intervene in a federal lawsuit to defend the Trump-era public charge rule, after the government dropped its defense of the rule, is a victory for immigrant families seeking essential health care coverage, housing, food programs, and many other vital services, the Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) said.  

President Trump issued his public charge rule in 2019 which sought to undo decades of policy by adding a broad sweeping “wealth test” to our immigration system, causing many mixed status families to forgo necessary assistance for their U.S. citizen children out of fear, even though the rule did not apply to them.   

The Biden Administration decided it would no longer defend the Trump rule, allowing lower court decisions blocking the rule to stand. That prompted several GOP-led states to attempt to defend the Trump rule in the government’s place. The Supreme Court’s decision blocked this effort in a case that began in the Ninth Circuit. 

The Biden administration has returned to longstanding prior public charge policy, the 1999 “field guidance,” making it safe for immigrants and their families to use health, nutrition, and housing programs for which they qualify. Health care programs, including Medicaid and COVID care, housing, food programs, and many other vital services are once again safe to use.  

On February 24, 2022, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking on public charge. The public comment period closed on April 25, 2022, and a final rule is expected later this year. The government must review all the comments before issuing a final rule. The ILRC has advocated for the abolishment of the antiquated public charge ground of inadmissibility but only Congress can eliminate the ground from our immigration laws.   

For more information on public charge, please visit:     


The Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) is a national nonprofit that works with immigrants, community organizations, legal professionals, and policy makers to build a democratic society that values diversity and the rights of all people. Through community education programs, legal training & technical assistance, and policy development & advocacy, the ILRC works to protect and defend the fundamental rights of immigrant families and communities. Follow us at, and on Twitter and Instagram @the_ILRC