McALLEN, Texas (Border Report) — The state of Texas has sued the Biden administration over its reversal of a public charge law, alleging it is breaking federal laws by allowing migrants who accept public assistance to reside in the country and to apply for green cards and U.S. citizenship.

The Biden administration last year changed the federal definition of who is considered a “public charge” and which noncitizens will be considered inadmissible to enter the United States because they would likely be dependent upon the government for survival.

In the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas in Victoria, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Thursday filed the lawsuit against President Joe Biden, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and other top officials.

“Since 1882, federal immigration law has barred the admission of aliens who are unable to take care of themselves and will become public charges,” the 24-page lawsuit said.

“The Biden Administration seeks to further its open borders policy by enacting a new agency rule that effectively nullifies federal law excluding aliens likely to become public charges,” the lawsuit claims.

“The Biden administration is committed to opening the borders to aliens who lack the ability to take care of themselves. Texans should not have to pay for these costly immigrants, nor should any other American,” Paxton said in a statement. “I will continue to defend the rule of law and fight to ensure that the massive costs of illegal immigration don’t further burden taxpayers.” 

In 2021, the Biden administration stopped implementing a rule put in place during the Trump administration that denied permanent resident status — or green cards — to migrants who accept public assistance, such as Medicaid, housing funds, food stamps or other benefits.

Instead, the Biden administration defined a public charge as someone who receives public cash assistance or is institutionalized in long-term care that is paid for with public funds.

The lawsuit claims the Biden administration violated federal law by revoking the Trump-era rule and it asks a federal judge to stop allowing the Biden rule to be used.

Paxton in September petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to be allowed to defend the prior rule and filed a cert-stage brief in the case.

But last year, the Supreme Court in June dismissed an effort by Paxton and other states led by Republican attorneys general to mount a legal defense against the public charge rule.

Sandra Sanchez can be reached at Ssanchez@borderreport.com