The Supreme Court on Friday, April 24, sided with the Trump administration, denying a request to block the public charge rule during the CCP Virus crisis.
The court had decided earlier this year to allow the rule, which makes it more difficult for immigrants to receive legal status should they be expected to become dependent on government assistance, to go into effect.
However, a group of state officials, led by New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) challenged the decision and asked the Supreme Court to revisit the decision amid the CCP Virus pandemic.
“By deterring immigrants from accessing publicly funded health care, including programs that would enable immigrants to obtain testing and treatment for COVID-19, the Rule makes it more likely that immigrants will suffer serious illness if infected and spread the virus inadvertently to others—risks that are heightened because immigrants make up a large proportion of the essential workers who continue to interact with the public,” they wrote in their brief.
The court affirmed its split 5-4 decision on the rule from earlier petitions, though it did not publish the vote tally for this move. It leaves open the possibility that the attorneys general could make a similar request in lower courts.
The Justice Department in its own Supreme Court filing, asked the court to reject the request, arguing the Trump administration would not consider immigrants’ use of public benefits related to the CCP Virus pandemic in deciding whether they are likely to become public charges in the future.
“Movant’s—a group of three States and the City of New York— attempt to discount that guidance is more than incorrect; it is unhelpful by creating confusion about the Rule and the government’s COVID-19 response in an effort to advance this litigation. In any event, movants’ declarations—submitted for the first time in this Court—provide no basis for this Court to second-guess the Executive’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the department wrote.
“Rather than a wholesale suspension, the Executive Branch has instead opted to take more targeted steps to ensure that the Rule is being administered in an appropriate way in light of current conditions,” it added.
The Supreme Court on Thursday also ruled in favor of the Trump administration, allowing the government to deport criminal immigrants from the United States even if they have been living legally in the country for a long time. The court’s decision expands the grounds for removal of legal immigrants who have committed serious crimes within their first seven years upon their arrival into the United States,” reported the Daily Caller.