A Supreme Court order issued Monday allows the Trump administration to implement a policy limiting green cards for immigrants overly reliant on the welfare system.
The 5-4 decision overturned an injunction issued by a federal judge in New York this past October, which put the policy on hold.
The vote went strictly along ideological lines, with all four Democratic-appointed justices indicating they would not have allowed the policy to be enforced.
In other words, elections matter.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) can now deny entry or legal status if it is determined people are likely to be a drain on public benefits.
BREAKING: The Supreme Court Monday in a 5-4 vote cleared the way for the Trump admin to make it more difficult for immigrants who rely on public assistance to obtain legal status – CNN
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) January 27, 2020
Protecting America’s Benefits
The administration’s “public charge” rule restricting green cards for immigrants likely to perpetually rely on the welfare system has been in place for decades but became a racial political football because President Trump wants it enforced.
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The Trump administration rule defines a “public charge” as an immigrant who receives one or more welfare benefits over a 12-month period in the past three years.
“The Trump Administration has worked to ensure aliens who want to enter or remain in the United States are able to support themselves and not rely on public programs,” a fact sheet issued by the White House reads.
“The rule will make it more difficult for immigrants to obtain permanent residency or citizenship if they have used public benefits, like food stamps,” CNBC reports.
Immigration activists have considered it a “racist wealth test.”
President Trump on ‘public charge’ rule: “I am tired of seeing our taxpayers paying for people to come into the country and immediately go onto welfare and various other things, so I think we are going it right.” https://t.co/SQ9450DjJX pic.twitter.com/LDB5my5rzB
— The Hill (@thehill) August 14, 2019
Time to Halt Activist Judges
Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote in a separate opinion that his colleagues need to confront the “real problem” in a system that allows a lone judge to squash rules for an entire nation with rogue injunctions, as has been a frequent issue in the era of President Trump.
For this policy, the administration won separate rulings in two appellate courts covering 14 states but was barred from implementing the rule due to the injunction.
“What in this gamesmanship and chaos can we be proud of?” Gorsuch wrote in his opinion.
“The U.S. Supreme Court is fed up with the federal activist judges,” acting DHS Secretary Ken Cuccinelli surmised.
President Trump, in announcing the “public charge” rule in August, said he is “tired of seeing our taxpayers paying for people to come into the country and immediately go onto welfare.”
The DOJ requested the Supreme Court allow the policy to be enforced temporarily until it can be resolved on merits. A final decision will come from the 2nd Circuit and the case could eventually make its way back to the Supreme Court.
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