Biden’s Refusal to Defend Public Charge “Wealth Test” Allows Immigrant NYers to Access Life-Saving Benefits Without Fear

New York, NY-On Tuesday, the Biden administration notified the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) that it will no longer defend a Trump-era policy that dramatically and illegally expanded the racist “public charge” rule. Yesterday’s decision, and subsequent court decisions dismissing other cases across the country, mean that Trump’s viciously anti-immigrant policy is no longer in effect. The Trump Administration’s changes to the rule had cut off an important pathway to family reunification and created confusion and anguish for immigrant New Yorkers. 

Max Hadler, Director of Health Policy for the New York Immigration Coalition, issued the following statement.

“We applaud President Biden for refusing to defend this racist wealth test. His decision will reassure countless immigrant New Yorkers of the importance and safety of accessing health, housing, food, and other public programs that they are eligible for and need to safeguard the health and security of their families, especially now during this pandemic. Yesterday, President Biden took an important step in turning the page on the last four years. Now, we call on USCIS to immediately issue clarifying guidance and encourage every New Yorker to access the benefits they need without fear.” 


  • We strongly urge immigrant New Yorkers to seek the care and benefits they need. 
  • There are NO public charge consequences to receiving health services related to COVID-19, including testing, treatment, and vaccination.
  • Anyone with public charge-related questions who would like to consult an immigration expert can contact the New Americans hotline, anonymously and free of charge, at 1-800-566-7636.