WASHINGTON — Two U.S. Senate Democrats voted today to support SJRes 18, a partisan resolution attacking “public charge” regulations. The resolution would reverse the Biden Administration regulations barring the U.S. Department of Homeland Security from considering the use of health care, nutrition, or housing programs by lawfully-present immigrants applying for permanent residence (a “green card”). The Biden regulation replaced a Trump policy putting green card applications at risk if lawfully-present immigrants used such programs. Trump White House adviser Stephen Miller was the architect of the Trump policy, which undermined pandemic response and widened racial disparities in health, hunger, and poverty. A 2021 poll found that nearly half (46%) of people in immigrant families who needed help or health care during the pandemic did not seek it because of immigration concerns.
To change public charge policy, the resolution would also have to pass the U.S. House of Representatives and be signed by President Joe Biden. The final Senate tally was 50-47, putting the resolution well short of the two-thirds majority required to override a presidential veto. Reacting to today’s vote, the PIF coalition issued the following statement by its director, Adriana Cadena:
“Senator Manchin and Senator Tester voted with Donald Trump and Stephen Miller and against the wellbeing of their states’ families. They voted to deny families – overwhelmingly families of color – health care, food, and homes, because some members of those families were not born in the U.S. Essentially, they voted to make our country sicker, hungrier, poorer, and weaker. They should be ashamed.
“PIF’s 600-plus partners will continue the fight to maintain and expand on the Biden reforms, committed to our goal of ensuring that every family can get the help and care they need to thrive.”