Supreme Court Dismisses Trump-Era Public Charge Rule

Immigration advocates praised Tuesday's ruling for protecting vulnerable immigrants

Mar 9, 2021

The Supreme Court against a blue sky backdrop.

The Supreme Court and appellate courts on Tuesday dismissed a number of pending appeals over the Trump administration’s public charge rule, a controversial measure that makes it harder for lower-income immigrants to obtain green cards.

The justices had agreed last month to hear challenges to the rule, but in a letter to the court, the Biden administration said that both sides had agreed that the case should be dismissed.

President Joe Biden issued an executive order last month calling for a “top-to-bottom” review of Trump-era immigration restrictions, including the public charge rule. The withdrawal of all appeals, according to a statement from DHS Secretary Alejandro Majorkas, means that the Trump-era public charge rule is now vacated and the prior Clinton-era policy is back in effect.

Various states and advocacy groups have fought the 2019 rule for years, arguing it was unlawful.

“Today the unconscionable Department of Homeland Security ‘public charge rule’ is entering the dustbin of history,” said Doug Rand, Boundless co-founder and immigration policy expert.

Immigration advocates praised Tuesday’s ruling for protecting vulnerable immigrants.

“Immigrant families can now access life-saving health care, food, and housing assistance for which they are eligible without fear that they will lose the chance to obtain lawful permanent residence, because the actions today mean that the harmful Trump public charge rule will again be blocked,” said plaintiffs Make the Road New York, CLINIC, Catholic Charities Community Services, Asian American Federation, and African Services Committee in a statement.

Boundless will continue to update this page as we learn more.

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