Does U.S. law generally ban the entry of immigrants who are likely to become a public charge (i.e., burden to taxpayers)?
U.S. Code Title 8, Chapter 12, Section 1182 bans the entry of immigrants who are "likely at any time to become a public charge," or burden to taxpayers. Under guidelines issued by the Clinton administration in 1999 and left in place until 2019, the federal government interpreted this law in a manner that ignored numerous welfare benefits, such as Medicaid, Food Stamps, Head Start, subsidized housing, and assistance with paying utility bills. In 2019, the Trump administration issued a regulation that considers such welfare benefits when deciding whether to admit immigrants. After a series of lawsuits and injunctions by Democrat-appointed judges, higher courts allowed Trump's regulation to become nationally effective in February of 2020. After that, a U.S. District Court judge appointed by Barack Obama reversed the rule, the Biden administration decided to not defend it, and Clinton's guidelines took effect again in 2021.