Supreme Court Allows “Public Charge” Immigration Rule Proceed

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration can implement its divisive “public charge” rule, which seeks to withhold citizenship from immigrants the government deems likely to rely on public benefits like Medicaid and Section 8 housing.

In the 5-4 vote, justices voted to grant the administration its request to stay a lower court injunction on the rule while the merits of the case continue to be debated in the lower courts. Under the public charge rule proposed last August by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the Trump administration expanded the criteria deeming green card-seeking immigrants as “public charges” if, by their metric, these people were considered likely to use a wide range of benefits such as food stamps, Medicaid and housing assistance in the future. The rule traces back to 19th-century language that state and local governments used in cases of emancipated slaves or to bar poor or infirm immigrants.