February 27, 2021
Supreme Court agrees to review Trump rule on immigrants needing government aid
The U.S. Supreme Court said Monday it will review a Trump administration limit on accepting immigrants considered likely to become overly dependent on government benefit programs.

The Department of Homeland Security announced in 2019 that it would expand the definition of "public charge" to be applied to people whose immigration could be denied because of a concern that they would primarily depend on the government for their income.

In the past, that was largely based on an assessment that an immigrant would be dependent upon cash benefits. But the Trump administration proposed to broaden the definition to include non-cash benefits, such as Medicaid, supplemental nutrition aid and federal housing assistance.

Anyone who would be likely to require that broader range of help for more than 12 months in any three-year period would be swept into the expanded definition.

In response to a series of lawsuits, lower courts were divided on whether the rule violated federal law. Its enforcement was eventually blocked.

The government has long had authority to refuse admission of immigrants who were likely to become public charges, but the term has never been formally defined.

The Department of Homeland Security proposed to fill that void, adding non-cash benefits and such factors as age, financial resources, employment history, education and health, arguing that the expansion would reinforce "the ideals of self-sufficiency and personal responsibility, ensuring that immigrants are able to support themselves and become successful here in America." (Source: NBC News)
Story Date: February 23, 2021
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