The US Supreme Court on Monday ruled that the Trump administration can proceed with implementing the ”public charge” rule, which denies green cards to immigrants that use or are deemed likely to receive public benefits.
In a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court allowed the Department of Homeland Security to deny green cards to immigrants or would-be immigrants who receive or are deemed likely to use government benefits such as food stamps, Medicaid or housing assistance.
“To protect benefits for American citizens, immigrants must be financially self-sufficient," President Donald Trump said when the policy was unveiled in August last year.
The rule was initially set to go in effect in October last year before it was blocked in lower courts. Under the rule, immigration officers will use several factors such as low income, high debts, whether or not the immigrant can speak English, and receipt of public benefits to judge whether the immigrant is a “public charge” or likely to be one.
All five conservative Supreme Court justices including Chief Justice John Roberts voted in favor of the rule, while the four liberal justices voted against the rule.
The Supreme Court ruling will allow the policy to take effect while other legal challenges to the policy go through the courts.