Circuit court denies GOP-led motion to defend Trump’s ‘public charge’ immigration rule

It appears that one of former President Donald Trump’s more controversial immigration policies suffered its final legal defeat this week.

According to The Washington Times, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied a request by several GOP attorneys general to intervene in a case involving the so-called “public charge” rule.

Background on the rule

Trump initiated the rule as one of several immigration policies enacted during his time in office. It specifically sought to stop immigrants who receive public benefits from being eligible for a green card.

Proponents of the rule saw it as a way to encourage only self-sufficient immigrants to enter the United States while critics argued that it amounted to a wealth test that could present a host of negative consequences.

Opponents took the Trump administration to court in an effort to see the policy declared illegal and soon found some success in their pursuit.

At the circuit court level, a decision upheld a lower court ruling that struck down the rule. The Trump administration appealed that ruling in hopes of receiving a hearing before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Since that time, however, President Joe Biden has taken office and his administration unsurprisingly opted against a continued defense of the public charge rule in court.

Circuit court denies GOP motion

In a statement on the matter, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security under Biden said that the rule “is neither in the public interest nor an efficient use of limited government resources.”

As a result, the Justice Department dropped the appeals brought by the prior administration in response to the circuit court ruling.

In a final attempt to save it, Republican attorneys general from several states filed a motion to intervene. If granted, the effort would have allowed them to reignite the defense — but the 9th Circuit rejected that motion in its decision this week.

“The motion to intervene by the States of Arizona, et al, is denied,” the panel wrote in a split decision on the matter, according to the Times.

At least for now, defenders of the public charge rule appear to be without any further recourse as the Biden White House pursues policies its critics say are only exacerbating the nation’s border crisis.

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