Supreme Court hears dispute over Biden’s rejection of Trump-era ‘public charge’ immigration rule

A statue exterior the US Supreme Court docket on January 26, 2022 in Washington, DC.

Olivier Douliery | AFP | Getty Photos

The Supreme Court docket on Wednesday heard arguments associated to the Trump administration’s “public cost” rule, an immigration coverage that widened the definition of which immigrants might be denied inexperienced playing cards.

An Arizona-led group of crimson states requested the justices to permit them to defend the rule in federal court docket, although the Biden administration had deserted it. A decrease appellate court docket had denied the states’ efforts to intervene to defend the rule.

The justices questioned Arizona Legal professional Basic Mark Brnovich’s argument that the Biden administration’s maneuvers had been “unprecedented.”

“The brand new administration usually modifications its place in instances. So what’s completely different from this case, wherein the administration declines to enchantment an opposed ruling?” requested Justice Clarence Thomas, a conservative.

“There’s type of a mismatch right here between what you are saying went mistaken and what you are saying you need,” Justice Elena Kagan, a liberal, stated.

The rule in query came in 2019, when then-President Donald Trump’s Division of Homeland Safety reinterpreted when a non-U.S. citizen is more likely to grow to be a public cost and subsequently ineligible for everlasting residency.

Earlier steering from 20 years earlier had outlined a public cost as somebody “primarily depending on the federal government for subsistence,” however didn’t embrace non-cash advantages, reminiscent of meals stamps and Medicaid, in making that dedication.

The 2019 rule modified the definition of public cost to embody these and different advantages, doubtlessly making it more durable for poor immigrants to achieve residency. It had been blocked in decrease courts.

Civil rights teams have decried the policy as a “racist wealth take a look at on the immigration system.”

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Wednesday’s oral arguments got here lower than every week after President Joe Biden put ahead a proposal to reverse the Trump-era rule.

Biden as a presidential candidate in 2020 had promised to undo Trump’s public cost coverage. In March, the Biden administration stopped combating the authorized challenges to the rule that had carried over from the Trump administration.

“The 2019 public cost rule was not consistent with our nation’s values. It penalized those that entry well being advantages and different authorities companies obtainable to them,” Homeland Safety Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said at that time.

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