BOSTON – Eva Millona, President and CEO of the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, today issued the following statement in response to the Biden administration’s decision to stop defending the Trump administration’s harmful public charge rule. As a result, the Supreme Court and Seventh Circuit dismissed pending appeals over the rule, which created a “wealth test” for new immigrants and had a chilling effect on immigrant families’ access to health care and safety net programs.
“This is a big win for immigrant and refugee communities across the nation, who can now hear the clear message that they can access the safety-net programs and health care they qualify for without fear of immigration consequences. This includes access to COVID-19 testing, treatment and vaccination. President Trump intended the public charge rule to be a ‘wealth test’ that would intimidate and separate families, but finally, this dark cloud has been lifted.
“MIRA is proud to have stood with our advocacy partners as part of the Protecting Immigrant Families (PIF) Coalition in opposition to the public charge rule and in support of keeping families together, and we are deeply grateful to our litigation partners who have kept up the fight in court each step of the way. This is a perfect example of why elections matter – when we vote for leaders who are committed to building a more humane immigration system, we are able to dismantle cruel, unworkable policies and move our nation forward. Now, we look forward to working with the Biden administration to communicate these changes to our immigrant and refugee communities and continue building a 21st century immigration system.”