Supreme Court agrees to hear challenge to Trump administration's public charge rule

Washington The Supreme Court agreed on Monday to take up a case brought by various groups and state and local officials challenging a Trump-era rule that makes it more difficult for immigrants to obtain legal status if they use public benefits, such as Medicaid, food stamps and housing vouchers.

The rule, issued by the Trump administration in August 2019, is still in effect in most states nationwide. It immediately met pushback, and was subsequently blocked by courts, following its release.
The “public charge” provision dates back at least to the Immigration Act of 1882. Federal lawmakers at the time wanted to make sure that immigrants would be able to take care of themselves and not end up being a public burden.
Under current regulations put in place in 1996, the term is defined as someone who is “primarily dependent” on government assistance, meaning it supplies more than half their income.
    But it only counted cash benefits, such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or Supplemental Security Income from Social Security. The Trump administration’s rule widened the definition of who is expected to be dependent on the government by including more benefit programs.
      Opponents of the rule, such as Susan Welber, a staff attorney at the Legal Aid Society, said that the government was trying to exclude “as unworthy and unwelcome anyone who is predicted to receive even a small amount of food, health or housing assistance at any point.”
      This story is breaking and will be updated.

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