WASHINGTON — The State of Texas filed suit Thursday in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, challenging U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) “public charge” regulations. The Biden regulation secures lawfully-present immigrants’ and their families’ access to health and social services safety net programs for which they qualify under federal law.
The regulation, finalized in September, largely restores and improves upon the public charge policy in place for 20 years prior to the Trump administration and is consistent with a century of prior practice. DHS developed the regulation through a rigorous process outlined in the Administrative Procedure Act, which governs how federal agencies make or change regulations.
Reacting to the lawsuit’s filing, the PIF coalition issued the following statement by its director, Adriana Cadena:
“This is politics, pure and simple. The new final charge regulation simply ensures that people – especially people of color – qualified to get health care and social services under federal law can seek help without fear. As health, hunger, and housing disparities persist nationwide, that’s more critical now than ever. It’s disappointing that Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton would put the nation’s health and wellbeing at risk for political reasons, but it’s not surprising. We hope the Court will see this for the political stunt it is and dismiss this cynical attack on immigrant families.”