State AGs Ask SCOTUS to Halt ‘Public Charge’ Rule During Pandemic

The Hill reports, “New York’s attorney general on Monday asked the Supreme Court to temporarily halt the Trump administration’s ‘public charge’ rule, which aims to curtail the use of public benefits by immigrants, until the U.S. recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.”

New York, joined by other state and local governments, want the court to reconsider an earlier ruling that allowed the administration to provisionally link immigrants’ legal status to public benefits.

“The public charge rule drives immigrants and their families away from accessing health benefits to which they are entitled by threatening applicants’ eligibility for green cards and visa renewals,” New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) said in a statement, adding that the Trump policy threatens “efforts to slow the continued spread of the virus happening nationwide.”

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court issued two 5-4 rulings along ideological lines to lift injunctions on the rule while the case played out in federal appeals court. Those rulings allowed the policy to take effect nationwide in late February.

The court’s four liberals voted to continue blocking the rule. Under the policy, an immigrant is considered a public “charge,” or dependent, for receiving at least one public benefit such as Medicaid or food stamps for more than 12 months within any three-year period.

Acting Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Ken Cuccinelli has described the rule as simply verifying that immigrants “can stand on their two feet.”

About Catherine Smith

Catherine Smith is a newcomer to Washington D.C. She met, and married an American journalist and moved to D.C from the U.K. She graduated with a B.A in Graphic, Media and Communications and worked in design and retail in the U.K.

Photo: Getty Images

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