Divided Supreme Court Allows White House to Enforce Green Card Rule

January 27, 2020 by Dan McCue
Protesters rally on the steps of the Supreme Court to Defend DACA. (Photo by Dan McCue)

WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court split along ideological lines Monday in a decision allowing the White House to proceed with a rule making it harder for immigrants who rely on public assistance to gain legal status.

The unsigned order lifts a nationwide injunction imposed by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York, which had put the so-called “public charge” rule on hold while legal challenges worked their way through the courts.

Both the 9th Circuit in San Francisco, Calif., and the 4th Circuit in Richmond, Va., had previously overturned lower court rulings against the policy.

An injunction in Illinois will remain in effect despite the Supreme Court ruling Monday, but it applies only to that state.

In imposing the 2nd Circuit injunction blocking implementation of the rule, U.S. District Judge George Daniels called the policy “repugnant to the American Dream” and a “policy of exclusion in search of a justification.”

Solicitor General Noel Francisco noted in his brief to the Supreme Court that the 9th Circuit “held that the rule ‘easily’ qualified as a permissible interpretation of the Immigration and Nationality Act.”

As a result of the 5-4 ruling, the administration can now deny green cards to immigrants over their use of public benefits including Medicaid, food stamps and housing vouchers, as well as other factors.

The new policy, which the court’s four liberal justices — Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor — all said they would block, significantly expands the factors used to determine whether an immigrant applying for permanent residency would be an undue burden to the country.

Roughly 544,000 people apply for green cards annually. According to the government, 382,000 are in categories that would make them subject to the new review.

In a concurring opinion, Justice Neil Gorsuch urged his colleagues to confront the “real problem” of so-called nationwide injunctions, orders issued by a single judge that apply everywhere.

In this case, even though the administration won rulings in two different appellate courts covering 14 states, its policy could not take effect.

“What in this gamesmanship and chaos can we be proud of?” Gorsuch wrote.

Justice Clarence Thomas joined Gorsuch’s concurring opinion.

In The News

Health

Voting

Immigration

Biden and Congressional Democrats to Unveil Immigration Bill
Immigration
Biden and Congressional Democrats to Unveil Immigration Bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden's administration is joining Democrats on Capitol Hill to unveil a major immigration overhaul that would offer an eight-year pathway to citizenship to the estimated 11 million people living in the U.S. without legal status.The legislation, to be released in detail... Read More

White House Urges Asylum-Seekers to Be Patient As Start of Processing Begins
Immigration
White House Urges Asylum-Seekers to Be Patient As Start of Processing Begins
February 16, 2021
by TWN Staff

WASHINGTON - The White House urged asylum-seekers to be patient and to abide by proper procedures as the United States readies itself to begin processing their claims on Friday. In a joint statement released Tuesday, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Homeland Security Advisor Liz Sherwood-Randall,... Read More

Some Asylum-Seekers Waiting in Mexico to Be Allowed in US
Immigration
Some Asylum-Seekers Waiting in Mexico to Be Allowed in US

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The Biden administration on Friday announced plans for tens of thousands of asylum-seekers waiting in Mexico for their next immigration court hearings to be allowed into the United States while their cases proceed.The first of an estimated 25,000 asylum-seekers in Mexico with... Read More

Biden Signs Immigration Orders as Congress Awaits More
Immigration
Biden Signs Immigration Orders as Congress Awaits More

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden signed a second spate of orders to undo his predecessor’s immigration policies, demonstrating the powers of the White House and its limitations without support from Congress. His orders on family separation, border security and legal immigration bring to nine the... Read More

Biden Expands Quick Bid to Undo Trump’s Immigration Policies
Immigration
Biden Expands Quick Bid to Undo Trump’s Immigration Policies

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The Biden administration on Tuesday announced steps to address harm to thousands of families that were separated at the U.S.-Mexico border, expanding efforts to quickly undo relentless changes to immigration policy over the last four years. President Joe Biden planned to sign... Read More

Trump-Appointed Federal Judge Temporarily Blocks Biden Deportation Plan
Immigration
Trump-Appointed Federal Judge Temporarily Blocks Biden Deportation Plan
January 29, 2021
by Dan McCue

A federal judge in Texas has temporarily blocked a Biden administration plan to impose a 100-day moratorium on deportations. The ruling by U.S. District Judge Drew Tipton, a Trump appointee, granted a temporary restraining order sought by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. The court order will... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top