Supreme Court Rejects GOP Defense of Trump Immigration Regulation

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On Wednesday, the Supreme Court turned down a bid by Republican federal prosecutors to keep an immigration order from the Trump administration.

That’s because the Biden administration has got rid of the order and won’t defend it in court.

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The lawsuit was procedural, but at its core was former President Trump’s “public charge rule.” This is a 2019 piece of legislation that put additional limitations on impoverished immigrants to the United States until the Biden administration reversed the policy last year.

Hearings

The justices’ decision on Wednesday to dismiss the lawsuit keeps in place a lower appeals court verdict that rejected Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich’s (R) effort to assume the role of the Trump administration to revive the public charge rule through a legal win.

Since the justices heard debate on the case earlier in the term, the court’s rejection was relatively unusual.

In an opinion that agreed with the court’s decision, Chief Justice John Roberts said the case led to too many legal problems beyond what the court agreed to look into.

President Trump’s public charge order prompted a number of court challenges around the nation that were in various states of court when President Biden took office, having campaigned on a promise to reverse Trump’s hardline immigration policy.

Each one of the five federal judges that reviewed Trump’s policy determined it violated the law or was likely to do so.


The regulation enacted under the Trump administration instructed federal immigration officials to reject entry and green card applications from individuals who were expected to become dependent on government aid.

Also, it changed how to figure out if an immigrant is likely to become a “public charge” or someone who needs help paid for by taxpayers.

Further Details

Following the policy, an immigrant would be regarded as a public charge if they received at least one benefit for more than 12 months during any three years. These benefits include Medicaid, food assistance, public subsidized housing, and welfare.

In addition, the Trump administration’s rules also considered the chance that an immigrant would use these benefits in the future.

Supporters of Trump’s order, which revised an existing Clinton-era policy, hailed it as a reasonable measure to guarantee immigrants heading for the United States are self-sufficient and avoid assistance services from being overwhelmed.

Under the leadership of Arizona, the Republican attorney generals argued the regulation might save states $1 billion annually.

Biden’s Department of Homeland Security hastily revoked the rule in March 2021, skipping the public comment process that typically precedes the repeal of key rules and citing the unfavorable judicial treatment of the program as the rationale for doing so.

Also, Biden’s administration stopped defending the program in court, which Trump’s Department of Justice had been pushing for. This made the legal attempt to save the program fail.

In reaction, Republican attorney generals attempted to defend the bill in court by effectively adopting the legal stance formerly espoused by Trump’s Department of Justice. The Biden presidency opposed the action.

The Supreme Court’s rejection on Wednesday allowed the lower court findings that denied the Republican states’ intervention request to remain.