Joe Biden Signs Order Revamping Welfare-Dependent Immigration

Illegal immigrants line up for work permits

President Joe Biden signed an executive order that seeks to revamp welfare-dependent legal immigration to the United States by eliminating certain regulations and demanding a review of current enforcement practices.

On Tuesday, Biden signed an order that revokes a crackdown on welfare-dependent legal immigration that sought to protect American taxpayers from being forced to foot the bill for federal benefits provided to foreign nationals seeking green cards.

In May 2019, President Trump signed an order to enforce Clinton-era laws from 1996 that delegated all financial responsibility to a family member or business sponsor of a foreign national seeking a green card when they had previously used welfare programs. The order cut loose taxpayers from having to pay the cost.

In addition, the order ensured that the income of a sponsor was taken into consideration when a foreign national seeking a green card was applying for various welfare benefits.

Now, Biden has revoked those rules in an effort to revamp welfare-dependent legal immigration that leaves taxpayers on the hook for covering the costs. Those costs, federal officials have previously said, amounts to billions over the years.

Biden’s order also requests multiple federal agencies to “review all agency actions related to implementation” of what is known as the “Public Charge” rule.

The rule, implemented by Trump last year, made it less likely that foreign nationals would secure green cards to permanently stay in the U.S. if they had previously taken welfare — including any cash benefits for income maintenance, Supplemental Security Income, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, and food stamps. The order requires:

This review should consider and evaluate the current effects of these agency actions and the implications of their continued implementation … identify appropriate agency actions, if any, to address concerns about the current public charge policies’ effect on the integrity of the Nation’s immigration system and public health.

Biden’s order asks federal agencies to “recommend steps that relevant agencies should take to clearly communicate current public charge policies and proposed changes, if any, to reduce fear and confusion among impacted communities.”

Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) President Dan Stein said Biden is effectively tearing down a “cornerstone of U.S. immigration policy since 1882.” Stein said:

As part of his ‘America Last’ immigration agenda, President Biden is gearing up to reverse existing policies that protect American taxpayers — and doing so at a time when a raging pandemic is forcing many Americans to rely on social safety nets that can barely keep up with the demands being placed on them.

When Trump first issued the Public Charge rule in 2019, polls found that the policy was overwhelmingly popular with Americans. About 6-in-10 Americans said they supported ending welfare-dependent legal immigration, including 56 percent of Hispanics and 71 percent of black Americans.

For years, the big business lobby and corporate interests had denounced the Public Charge rule because they said they needed welfare-dependent legal immigrants to grow the economy, create more consumers, and secure a low-wage U.S. workforce.

Biden’s seeking to revoke the Public Charge rule would amount to a billion-dollar tax hike for taxpayers

In 2017, the National Academies of Science noted that state and local taxpayers are billed about $1,600 each year per immigrant to pay for their welfare and revealed that immigrant households consume 33 percent more cash welfare than American citizen households.

A similar Center for Immigration Studies study found that about 63 percent of noncitizen households use at least one form of public welfare, while only about 35 percent of native-born American households are on welfare. This means that noncitizen households use nearly twice as much welfare as native-born American households.

(Center for Immigration Studies)

Every year, the U.S. rewards about 1.2 million foreign nationals with green cards to permanently resettle in the country, while another 1.4 million foreign nationals secure various temporary visas though many never leave as required. These mass legal immigration levels are in addition to the hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens who are added to the U.S. population annually.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at


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