U.S. Supreme Court Blocks Trump Rule on Immigration
An expansion of the public charge rule, enacted by Trump, has been challenged, which could make it easier for immigrants to enter or obtain legal status in the U.S.
The United States has always had rules for immigrants who would be deemed “public charges” after they made their way into the country. The Trump Administration, however, had expanded on those rules, making it much more difficult for immigrants who entered the country to obtain a green card. The expansion to the rule has been largely criticized and challenged by some who say the rule is an illegal wealth test and should not be enforced. Now, the Biden Administration has also challenged the rule, and the U.S. Supreme Court has made a decision on several cases that will make it easier for immigrants.
The History of the Public Charge Rule
Under the immigration law of the United States, individuals that would be considered a “public charge” are not eligible for legal permanent residency. For the past two decades, this has meant that if an immigrant became primarily dependent on direct cash assistance or needed to be institutionalized over the long-term and at the expense of the taxpayers, they would be denied entry.
The Trump Administration expanded on this narrow rule, stating that a public charge was anyone who received any number of a wide variety of public assistance benefits for a combined 12 months within a 36-month period. This meant that many immigrants went without basic needs, such as the Medicaid healthcare program, and housing and food assistance. In addition, adjudicators for USCIS or the Department of State could determine an immigrant was “likely at any time to become a public charge” based on a variety of poorly defined factors to deny visas.
The Actions of the Supreme Court
The Supreme Court was supposed to hear an appeal surrounding the new public charge rule at the end of February. In early March, however, the Biden Administration requested that the U.S. Supreme Court dismiss the case. The Supreme Court complied with the request. Two other cases involving the new expansion to the public charge rule, and that were scheduled to be heard before the Supreme Court, were also dismissed.
A federal judge in New York also blocked the rule in 2019, and that decision was upheld by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in August. Federal courts in Vermont, Chicago, San Francisco, and the District of Columbia have also blocked the rule.
The blocking of the rule is great news for immigrants in the United States. It means that even if they need to access public benefits for essential needs such as food and housing, they can do so without fearing that they will forfeit their right to become lawful permanent residents.
Our Tennessee Immigration Lawyers Can Help with Your Case
The latest action by the U.S. Supreme Court only highlights the pace at which immigration law in the United States changes. If you want to immigrate to the United States, or want to sponsor someone else that does, our Nashville immigration lawyers at Ozment Law, PLC can assist with your case. Call us today at 615-321-8888 or contact us online to obtain the sound legal advice you need.