Public Reason, Public Comments, and Public Charge: A Case Study in Moral & Practical Reasoning in Federal Rulemaking

Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 50 (2):322-335 (2022)
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The “public charge” rule is a long-standing immigration policy that seeks to determine the likelihood that a prospective immigrant will become dependent on the government for subsistence. When the Trump administration sought to expand the criteria that would count against an applicant for permanent residency to include public benefits historically excluded from the calculation, thousands of commenters wrote to oppose or support the proposed changes. This paper explores the moral and practical reasons commenters provided for their position on the public charge rule and considers the value of the public comment process for immigration, health, and social policy.



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Should Undocumented Aliens Be Entitled to Health Care?James W. Nickel - 1986 - Hastings Center Report 16 (6):19-23.

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