Originally scheduled to go into effect in October, the policy was challenged in court, resulting in a slew of injunctions. But according to reports, the Supreme Court’s ruling, with the conservative justices all in the majority, effectively gives the rule the green light.
The amended public charge rule allows the country to deny green cards to immigrants who are deemed likely to rely on public benefits, such as Medicaid, food stamps or Section 8 housing vouchers.
The ruling is a setback for immigrants, particularly poor migrants who have come to the country in search of a better life but need some help along the way.
Through this policy, the Trump administration is sending the message that the country is opening its doors, but only for wealthier, educated immigrants. That is antithetical to what our country should be about.
Another consequence of the public charge rule is that immigrants already living in the country may think twice, or refrain completely, from seeking public assistance, even if the rule doesn’t apply to them.
It will inevitably lead to confusion, forcing families to deliberate a false choice between legal status and food on the table.
For its part, New York City has strongly denounced the decision. Bitta Mostofi, commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, said in a statement that the city will do everything in its power to connect people to the resources they need and help dispel the confusion.
“Don’t stop using public benefits unnecessarily,” Mostofi said. “The city is here to help you make a decision that is best for you and your family.”
The city is doing right by immigrants. Unfortunately, the federal government is in charge of immigration policy, and the anti-immigration ways won’t change until Trump leaves the White House.