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The Trump Administration Takes Public Charge Rule to The Supreme Court

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After a U.S. lower court blocked the Trump administration from implementing a new immigration rule earlier this week, the administration has turned to the Supreme Court to try to reverse it. 

In a brief order, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan blocked the “public charge” rule that President Donald Trump’s administration intends to implement to sanction immigrants who receive government assistance, such as food stamps, housing subsidies or Medicaid.

“Today is a victory for the millions of immigrants in our state and in this country that have been sidelined, disrespected, and demeaned by the Trump administration,” New York state Attorney General Letitia James told Reuters.

The New York injunction is also part of a nationwide injunction, which prevents the rule from being enforced anywhere in the country. However, earlier this week, the Trump administration asked the Supreme Court to lift that order in order to go forward with the implementation of the rule. 

The Trump administration imposed the rule back in August 2019, but it has not been able to be implemented because it has been challenged by various parties, including New York state, New York City, Connecticut, Vermont and several nonprofits. Back in October, a judge ordered a blockade to prevent its entry into force.

According to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website, an immigrant would qualify as “public charge” if they receive government assistance for more than 12 months over a period of three years, and would make them more likely to have the USCIS reject their permanent residency or visa applications.

According to Telemundo, the USCIS estimated that this rule would affect approximately 4.6 million foreigners who received social assistance, a number that represents 23% of all non-citizens in the United States. 

About 550,000 people apply for a permanent residence card every year, of which 380,000 will be subject to this new review.

Alexandra Tirado Oropeza is a Venezuelan journalist covering politics, immigration, entertainment and social justice. She moved to the U.S. in 2014 to pursue a Writing degree at The University of Tampa, and after graduating, she moved to Los Angeles where she works in broadcast and as a freelance writer. She’s passionate about equality, freedom of speech, art and dogs.