The Supreme Court of the United States on Monday rejected an effort by a group of Republicans to revive the hard-line policy of the former president. Donald Trump that barred certain immigrants who might require government benefits from obtaining lawful permanent residence.
The justices rejected an appeal by 14 Republican state attorneys general, led by Ken Paxtonof Texas, to a lower court ruling against his request to mount a legal defense of Trump’s “public charge” rule after the President’s administration Joe Biden stopped defending the measure and later rescinded it.
The policy was put into effect by the Trump administration in February 2020 and finalized by the Biden administration in March 2021.
Paxton was joined by the attorneys general of Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina and West Virginia.
In a 2019 decision, the Trump administration significantly expanded the definition of “public charges” that barred access to lawful permanent residence in the country, or green cards.
The expanded restriction applied to immigrants receiving a government benefitincluding Medicaid for the poor and food stamps for more than 12 months in any three-year period.
A federal judge in Illinois struck down the nationwide measure. The judge later rejected the Republican attempt to intervene, saying the state officials’ request came too late, and the Chicago-based Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit last June agreed.
Republican officials had told justices they should be able to uphold the Trump administration’s rule, saying it is estimated to save states collectively about $1 billion a year.
Last year, the Supreme Court heard arguments about a separate attempt by Republican state officials to intervene in defense of the Trump rule, but ultimately dismissed the case without resolving the issue.
The current administration last September adopted a narrower rule under which immigrants would be considered public charges only when they are likely to become primarily dependent on government assistance to survive, reflecting a 1999 regulation that was in place for two years. decades. Texas filed a separate federal lawsuit Thursday challenging Biden’s rule.
Republicans have been harsh critics of the immigration policies of Biden, who came to the White House vowing to undo some of Trump’s hardline policies.