SCOTUS upholds Trump plan to deny green cards to those likely to depend on federal benefits

In a move that is eliciting shock and fury from the left, fhe United States Supreme Court has decided in favor of a major Trump administration immigration policy.

In a 5-4 decision, the high court upheld a rule proposed by the Trump administration that would deny green cards to immigrants who are deemed likely to rely too heavily on government assistance. 

Reducing welfare liabilities

The court issued an order on Monday that will allow the Trump administration to expand the limits on what qualifies as “public charge.” The court decision nullifies a nationwide injunction issued by a federal judge in New York.

The Washington Times reports that “federal law has long recognized the government’s right to deny admission or more permanent status to foreigners who threaten to become a drain on public programs.”

Prior to the rule in question, assessments of this risk were based on the use of cash benefits. This new rule, first announced in August by the Department of Homeland Security, proposed to expand the definition to include the use of Medicaid, supplemental nutrition and federal housing assistance.

The initial DHS announcement immediately attracted controversy and outrage from the left. The legal challenge included arguments that the rule was “motivated by racial animus and has a disproportionate effect on immigrants of color.”

Acting Deputy Homeland Security Secretary Ken Cucinelli counters that the rule promotes the “ideals of self-sufficiency and personal responsibility, ensuring that immigrants are able to support themselves and become successful here in America.”

The Supreme Court appears to agree, albeit narrowly. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan voted in favor of allowing to stand a lower court injunction against the new DHS rules.

For President Trump, this is an important step towards fulfilling his promise to address the immigration issues plaguing the country.

Important precedent

This decision represents a huge victory for the Trump administration and an important pushback against judicial activism in general. What many refer to as “legislation from the bench” has become a serious problem, as many judges are more interested in upholding their policy preferences than enforcing the law.

Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch issued a scathing concurring opinion, back in January in which he blasted federal judges who issue nationwide blocks on administration rules. This latest ruling could set up a fight that could help put an end to the practice.

Justice Gorsuch was joined by Justice Clarence Thomas in saying that the “real problem [is the] increasingly common practice of trial courts ordering relief that transcends the cases before them. It is hard to see how the court could still be acting in the judicial role of resolving cases and controversies.”

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