In arguing for the rule then-acting director of USCIS Ken Cuccinelli said that self-reliance is a core principle of America.
The Supreme Court Monday allowed the Trump administration to enforce a new rule that will deny green cards to foreign nationals who use taxpayer-funded social services, lifting lower court injunctions that blocked the change.
The 5-4 vote followed familiar ideological lines, with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan in dissent. The justices did not give reasons for lifting the injunctions — as is typical of orders of this nature — though Justice Neil Gorsuch released a concurring opinion urging the Supreme Court to curtail the use nationwide injunctions, which Justice Clarence Thomas joined.
The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) dictates that foreign nationals should not receive green cards if they are “likely at any time to become a public charge.” At issue in Monday’s case is the definition of “public charge.” In recent years, the term was defined as a person primarily dependent on a cash assistance program.
The Trump administration promulgated a new rule in August 2019 that expands the definition to include those likely to use non-cash benefit programs like Medicaid, food stamps, or housing benefits for a period of months. The rule does not apply to humanitarian migrants like refugees or asylum-seekers.