Support Grows for Sen. Marshall Measure to Uphold Integrity in U.S. Immigration System

(Washington, D.C., March 8, 2023) – U.S. Senator Roger Marshall, M.D., now joined by his colleagues U.S. Senators Ted Budd (NC), Mike Braun (IN), Mike Crapo (ID), Ted Cruz (TX), Bill Hagerty (TN), Josh Hawley (MO), Cindy Hyde-Smith (MS), Mike Lee (UT), James Risch (ID), and Rick Scott (FL), has reintroduced a Congressional Review Act Resolution of Disapproval to repeal the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) public charge rule. This rule reduces the types of taxpayer-funded federal benefits – such as food stamps, housing vouchers, and Medicaid – that DHS can consider when determining whether to grant admission or lawful permanent residence to green card applicants. The Senators’ measure would nullify the rule, which went into effect in December 2022. Senator Marshall previously introduced this legislation last Congress in November 2022.

U.S. Representative Troy Nehls (TX-22) is leading U.S. Representatives Mike Johnson (LA-04), Andy Biggs (AZ-05), and Andy Ogles (TN-05) in reintroducing an identical version of this legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“With the crisis raging at our southern border and the national debt over $31 trillion, it is fair and sensible to favor prospective new citizens who will not be reliant on government benefits,” Senator Marshall said. “My legislation will ensure America welcomes self-sufficient new citizens who are ready to contribute, while reigning in excessive spending.”

“We have millions of our own American citizens without health insurance and receiving SNAP benefits, as well as hundreds of thousands sleeping on the streets at night. Instead of making it a priority to find our own citizens homes, meals, and health insurance, Joe Biden continues to exacerbate the issue,” said Representative Nehls. “President Trump had it right. His rule protected states and American taxpayers from burdensome costs and promoted self-sufficiency among incoming foreign nationals. It’s time Biden starts putting Americans first.”

“America was built through the values of hard work and self-reliance. Government dependence saps these American values and erodes what made America great. We should encourage self-sufficiency when we welcome legal immigrants to our country. I’m proud to support Senator Marshall’s CRA to stop President Biden’s public charge rule,” said Senator Budd.

“The Biden Administration continues its alarming and intolerable trend of allowing the most illegal border crossings in U.S. history,” said Senator Crapo. “This new policy further burdens American taxpayers by removing public charge guidelines necessary to incentivize self-supporting new citizens.  We should return to a policy that prioritizes admitting those seeking residency who are ready to contribute to the economy, not those entering on the backs of taxpayers in an already high-inflation environment.”

“DHS’s move to rollback President Trump’s commonsense ‘Public Charge’ rule will cost American taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars every year,” said Senator Hagerty. “I’m pleased to join my colleagues in ensuring that American taxpayers are not financially responsible for this Administration’s failed immigration policies.”  

“The Biden administration’s relaxed Public Charge Rule is one more policy that signals to all would-be illegal immigrants that the border is open, with plenty of U.S. taxpayer-funded benefits ready for the taking once you get across,” Senator Hyde-Smith said.  “Considering the disastrous state of the border, the current stress on our economy, and our outsized national debt, it is necessary to stop this Homeland Security rule that abandons any real self-sufficiency test for those entering the country.”

“Our government has a border crisis and a spending problem. At a time of historic inflation, we cannot expect the taxpayer to foot the bill for prospective new citizens. I’m proud to support Sen. Marshall’s responsible resolution that reins in excessive spending while signaling the welcoming spirit of America for those willing and able to contribute to our shared prosperity,” said Senator Lee.

“The Biden administration’s open border policies just cost the American people more money and created a much longer list for taxpayer funded government benefits,” said Senator Risch. “When illegal migrants are a public charge, it is because they are reaping the benefits of taxpayer funded programs and becoming dependent on the government. Any migrant who dips into these programs costs the taxpayer money, and it absolutely should be in consideration when determining whether a migrant should be granted admission, green cards, or permanent residence. This Congressional Review Act Resolution of Disapproval signals to President Biden that taxpayers cannot continue to fund his illegal immigration policies.”

“Florida is an immigration state. We want legal immigration and want our immigrant community to prosper, contribute, and live the American dream. Biden’s open border and failed agenda that encourages dependence on federal programs has resulted in a humanitarian crisis. I’m proud to join my colleagues today to advance this resolution,” said Senator Rick Scott.

“The Biden Administration’s latest rule relating to public charge inadmissibility further proves that it does not care about American interests,”said Representative Biggs. “Federal statute bars admittance of immigrants who are likely to become dependent on the government social services. The Biden Administration’s efforts to weaken the implementation of that statute further highlight the Administration’s reckless attitude towards our nation’s immigration system. Americans should not be financially burdened by immigrants who will rely on taxpayer-funded social services. Immigrant self-sufficiency is a founding principle of our republic, and Americans deserve the opportunity to select the world’s best. I applaud Congressman Nehls and Senator Marshall’s resolution to disprove the Administration’s rule.”

“Biden’s America-last policies are stifling our nation’s prosperity at every turn. It is unacceptable and unimaginable that American citizens are going without basic necessities, such as food and shelter, while Biden is working overtime to make taxpayer-funded benefits more available to immigrants applying for green cards,” said Representative Ogles. “We must ensure that legal citizens are prioritized ahead of non-citizens living in the US. It’s time for lawmakers to demand better for America, and I’m proud to join this effort led by Congressman Nehls and Senator Marshall.” 

Upon introduction, Senator Marshall’s Congressional Review Act was endorsed by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) and Heritage Action for America.

“The Biden administration could care less about the ultimate stakeholder in our immigration system — the American people. That doesn’t only apply to a border that is being overrun, however. The public charge rule not only flouts Congress’ intent, it erodes the integrity of the legal immigration system and sticks it to American taxpayers. We encourage Congress to follow Senator Marshall’s and Representative Nehls’s lead and fight the Biden administration’s radical immigration policy agenda on all fronts,” said RJ Hauman, FAIR’s Head of Government Relations and Communications.

“The Biden administration has created a historic crisis at the southern border by changing policies that incentivize illegal immigration. While this group of policy changes includes ones that make our physical border less secure, it also includes ones that make it more profitable for illegal aliens once they reach the United States. Weakening the Public Charge Rule, which prevents immigrants from staying in the United States if they are likely to become reliant on the government for their livelihood, will create yet another pull factor for illegal aliens and will also place additional strain on public programs at a time when the American people are reeling under inflation due to the federal government’s wasteful spending. Congress should pass Senator Marshall and Representative Nehls’s Congressional Review Act resolution of disapproval immediately to prevent the Biden administration from implementing yet another disastrous immigration policy,” said Ryan Walker, Vice President of Government Relations, Heritage Action.

You may click HERE to read Senator Marshall’s joint resolution.

Background on Senator Marshall’s joint resolution:

The DHS rule would dramatically scale back the number of benefits immigrants can use that would be held against them when applying for permanent residency in the United States. In 2019, the Trump Admin defined “public charge” as an immigrant who receives one or more designated public benefits for more than 12 months within a 36-month period. The former administration rightfully included Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or food stamps, housing vouchers, and Medicaid as benefits that would disqualify an immigrant from receiving a green card. 

Under DHS’ rule, only the receipt of cash benefits or long-term institutional care could trigger a public charge finding. The rule ignores the myriad medical, housing, educational, and other public benefits routinely doled out by federal, state, local, and tribal agencies. And, more importantly, it ignores the tremendous cost of those benefits to the government and to the American taxpayer.