New York Connecticut and Vermont took President Donald Trump’s administration to the Supreme Court again and they found out why elections have consequences.
The went to Court on Friday and got the verdict that the president’s “public charge” rule during the coronavirus pandemic would not be blocked.
“By deterring immigrants from accessing publicly funded healthcare, including programs that would enable immigrants to obtain testing and treatment for COVID-19, the Rule makes it more likely that immigrants will suffer serious illness if infected and spread the virus inadvertently to others—risks that are heightened because immigrants make up a large proportion of the essential workers who continue to interact with the public,” the states said.
“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 a public burden,” CNN reported.
“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 administration’s new rule widens the definition of who is expected to be dependent on the government by including more benefit programs,” it said.
This means that before someone is allowed to immigrate to the United States, immigration officials can take into account that person, or family’s, financial capability to fend for themselves.
In February the Supreme Court granted the administration’s request to enact the new rules and make it tougher for those likely to need financial assistance to immigrate.
Liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who was appointed by former President Obama, penned a scathing dissent against the administration and the Court.
“Claiming one emergency after another, the Government has recently sought stays in an unprecedented number of cases, demanding immediate attention and consuming limited court resources in each,” she said.
“And with each successive application, of course, its cries of urgency ring increasingly hollow,” the justice said.
But her dissent did not help her, and the state’s, cases as the rules were given approval by the Court in a 5 – 4 vote along partisan lines.
“A physician in Connecticut has spoken with patients who had symptoms consistent with Covid-19,” New York Attorney General Letitia James said, “but were afraid to obtain Covid-19 testing or seek treatment due to concerns about the Public Charge Rule and fears that they could not afford to pay for treatment.”
“Immigrants who lack testing and treatment are also more likely to spread the virus to other people inadvertently, contributing to the current exponential growth of infection rates and fatalities,” the attorney general said.
The Department of Justice, led by Attorney general Bill Barr, asked the Court to reject the plea made by the states.
“Rather than a wholesale suspension, the Executive Branch has instead opted to take more targeted steps to ensure that the Rule is being administered in an appropriate way in light of current conditions,” it said.
“Movants seek to undermine that guidance, claiming that an alien ‘who obtains or maintains Medicaid coverage that helps him access COVID-19 testing or treatment will still receive an automatic negative factor in the public-charge analysis based on his Medicaid coverage, even if his COVID-19 test or treatment will not itself be considered,’” it said.
But with the current crisis in the nation, including a major economic collapse, it is curious that these states would want to bring in more people who would be dependent on the government.
The court made the correct decision against the liberal states.