Public-Charge Rule Allowed to Go Into Effect

January 28, 2020

The Supreme Court ruled by a 5-4 margin Monday to allow the Trump administration’s controversial “public-charge” rule on immigration to go into effect in every state but Illinois, Reuters reported. The Supreme Court opinion lifted a lower court's injunction that had blocked the rule from going into effect nationally.

The rule makes it harder for immigrants who have received certain public benefits such as food stamps, housing assistance and most forms of Medicaid to obtain permanent residency status, and it outlines criteria for the Department of Homeland Security to use in denying applications for admission to the United States or adjustments of immigration status to individuals deemed “likely to become a public charge” in the future.

Higher education groups have raised concerns about the rule, which they argue will discourage immigrant students from taking advantage of benefits -- like food stamps -- that have a direct connection to student success. Higher education leaders have also raised concerns that the rule could deter international students and scholars.

The Trump administration has said the rule will help ensure that immigrants are financially self-sufficient.

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