In a strange reversal from the way new regulations are usually put forward, the Department of Homeland Security released a draft of the rule a few weeks ago but hadn’t yet posted it in the federal register. When that happens today, it will kick off a 60-day public comment period where you can bet doctors and other health advocates will be pushing for DHS to back away from the changes the agency is seeking.
In this case, the new blueprint would radically shift the government’s definition of immigrants classified as “public charges,” meaning burdens to public resources. That classification would make them ineligible for many visas and green cards, which confer nearly every privilege of citizenship except voting in federal elections. And it would do so in a rulemaking end run around Congress, which would have no say in modifying or approving the new policy.