Supreme Court Decision Allows Trump Administration’s ‘Public Charge’ Rule to Take Effect

As reported by CNN, the Supreme Court has cleared the way for President Trump’s public charge rule to take effect across the overwhelming majority of the country. In a 5 to 4 vote, the court’s conservative majority granted the administration’s request for extraordinary relief. 
As a result, the public charge rule is currently effective in every state except for Illinois—where a statewide injunction remains in place. This is despite the fact that appeals have not yet made their way through the courts. Here, our Los Angeles immigration lawyer explains the implications of the decision. 

Three Things to Know About the Supreme Court’s Decision on the Public Charge Rule

1. The Administration Wants to Make the Process More Difficult for Low Income Immigrants

The Trump Administration’s sweeping changes to the public charge rule would make the immigration process far more challenging for low and middle income immigrants. For more than a century, U.S. immigration law has included provisions that limit immigration options for people deemed to be a “public charge”—meaning someone who would require “income maintenance” at government expense. However, the Trump Administration dramatically expanded the definition of a “public charge” to include basic social services such as the SNAP program and Medicaid. 

2. The Supreme Court Did Not Rule on the Merits—Instead, Blocked a Nationwide Injunction

Perhaps the most important thing to know about this opinion is that the Supreme Court did not actually weigh in on the merits of the rule. Instead, the decision is about the applicability of a nationwide injunction that previously blocked the Trump Administration’s public charge rule from going into effect. To be clear, this means that the case is not necessarily over. While the administration will be able to enforce the rule, legal challenges on the merits can move forward. Of course, the immediate implementation of the rule in 49 states will cause real harm, even if the rule is eventually determined to be unlawful. 

3. Strong Opposition: America Should Not Have a Wealth Test for Admission

Since the Trump Administration officially rolled out its plan last summer, many people have forcefully pushed back against it. As an example, California Senator Kamala Harris has described the Administration Public Charge rule as an effort to “vilify” immigrants. 

In response to the Supreme Court’s decision to allow the policy to take effect, Governor Gavin Newsom released a statement noted that the rule is “devastating” and may result in children and families “going hungry” or foregoing “needed medical care.” The governor’s office also stated that California officials are reviewing the decision and assessing all available options. 

Call Our California Immigration Lawyers for Immediate Assistance

At the Law Office of Joshua L. Goldstein, PC, we are wholly dedicated to achieving the best possible outcomes for our clients. Our law firm handles the complete range of immigration law matters. To request a completely confidential initial consultation, please call us today, (213) 262-2000. We serve communities throughout Los Angeles County, including in Long Beach, Santa Clarita, Palmdale, Pomona, Lancaster, El Monte, West Covina, and Norwalk.