U.S Supreme Court considers case regarding limits to green card access

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The U.S. Supreme Court is considering a case involving the expansion of a rule that prohibits issuing green cards to those who officials deem would be reliant on public assistance. The “Trump” administration issued the expansion, but it was blocked by a federal court, something the Biden administration has decided not to fight. Arizona and a dozen other states, claim that the Biden administration acted unlawfully in not defending expansion. We learned more from ASU Law Professor, Angela Banks.

The Trump administration expanded on the public charge rule, which says that non-citizens seeking entry into the United States can be denied on the notion that they may need excessive government support. This has been a rule since the beginning of immigration law, but Trump’s expansion added a number of other factors such as if the person speaks English well or if they have access to private health insurance.

A federal court in Illinois blocked the public charge expansion, and the Biden administration decided not to fight this ruling. Arizona and twelve other states have decided to defend this ruling in place of the federal government.

“It’s a very interesting federalism question, because as I explained this is at the heart of traditional immigration law: who gets to come into the country and the supreme court has historically always held that fundamental aspect of immigration law is a federal issue,” Banks said.

These states are saying Biden is inappropriately rescinding the rule by not defending the Illinois ruling. The main question the U.S Supreme Court will answer is whether states can legally defend the expansion in place of the federal government, not necessarily the expansion itself.

“The states are concerned because they feel like the Trump administration had enacted policy that was going to help limit immigration, which they feel is in their best interest. Now this change in policy doesn’t accomplish that goal, so again just a broader example of how immigration policy is at the forefront of American policy today,” Banks said.


Angela Banks, ASU Law Professor

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