Supreme Court To Review Trump Administration Rule On Government Benefits For Immigrants

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The United States Supreme Court announced Monday it will review a Trump-era policy that limited legal status applications for immigrants who would receive government benefits.

The court will review the public charge rule, which allows the government to deny legal status to immigrants more likely to be dependent on government benefits, NBC News reported. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said at the time the expansion would bolster “the ideals of self-sufficiency and personal responsibility” in immigrant communities.

In 2019, the Supreme Court ruled that the public charge rule could be implemented in a 5-4 decision, the Daily Caller News Foundation reported. As a result, the court lifted multiple lower courts’ injunctions that sought to stop the expansion of the rule.

The Seventh Circuit ruled against the Trump administration’s interpretation and expansion of the public charge rule in November 2020. Also, the Ninth Circuit struck down the rule expansion in December 2020, arguing that the provision of “better health care, nutrition, and supplemental housing benefits” is consistent with the rule’s intended purpose, CNN reported.

“Addressing DHS’ [Department of Homeland Security] contention that the statute’s overall purpose is to promote self-sufficiency, the panel concluded that providing access to better healthcare, nutrition, and supplemental housing benefits is consistent with precisely that purpose,” said Judge Mary M. Schroeder of the Ninth District Appeal Court, according to CNN.

The public charge rule includes immigrants using Medicaid, food stamps and housing assistance. Prior to the expansion, public charge only applied to immigrants earning cash-benefits and long term government-funded institutional care.

President Joe Biden formerly requested a review of the rule and is expected to overturn it, Politico reported. The Supreme Court is slated to decide on the case this spring.

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