A new Supreme Court rule could change the whole legal immigration system or make it more difficult for immigrants to obtain legal status if they use public benefits like housing vouchers and food stamps to go into effect in every state.
Last month, a 5-4 court greenlighted the so-called “public charge” rule across the country except for the State of Illinois, because the state was presided over by separate judicial order. Now, while litigation continues, the new supreme court rule will be in effect country-wide. US Citizenship and Immigration Services says it will implement the rule on starting from Monday.
The supreme court’s move is a win for the Trump administration, and the White House stated Saturday that it’s “gratified” by the ruling.
“This final rule will protect hardworking American taxpayers, preserve welfare programs for truly needy Americans, cut down the Federal deficit, and re-establish the fundamental legal principle that new immigrants to our society should be financially self-sufficient and not dependent on the largess(e) of United States harworking taxpayers,” the statement rpublished by the Office of the Press Secretary said.
Solicitor General Noel Francisco had asserted in part that the public charge rule, launched last August, is necessary because “the availability of public benefit should not be an incentive for immigration to the United States.”
The public charge rule made national headlines last year when then-acting Director of US Citizenship and Immigration Services Ken Cuccinelli, in his defence of the rule, amend the iconic poem on the Statue of Liberty’s pedestal, saying: “Give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge.”
Advocates and several states were not in favour of the rule, arguing that the changes would affect immigrants who depend on temporary assistances from the government and impose costs on the states.
The rule will penalise people who are trying to acquire lawful permanent status, also known as a green card. To that end, the rule has the potential to change legal immigration by limiting access to green cards for lower-income migrants.