The Trump administration can move forward with a rule to make it harder for immigrants who rely on public assistance to gain legal status while a court challenge plays out, the Supreme Court ruled on Monday.
The Supreme Court voted 5-4 along ideological lines to lift a nationwide injunction on the proposal imposed by a federal judge in New York while the case is playing out in the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals.
The rule, from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), would make it easier for immigration officials to deny entry or legal status to people likely to rely on government assistance.
Under current regulations, the criteria for deciding if an immigrant would become a public charge is whether they are likely to rely on certain cash benefits. The new rule would expand that, defining public charge as someone who relies on cash and non-cash benefits such as housing or food assistance for more than 12 months in a three-year period.
The rule also allows immigrants to be declared a “public charge” and denied green cards even if they are employed.