Trump’s Green Card “Wealth Test” Headed to Supreme Court For Review

Posted on 02/24/21

On Monday, The United States Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal made in a lower federal court by various pro-immigrant rights groups to invalidate the Trump Era rule that blatantly discriminates against immigrants deemed to be a “public charge.” The rule essentially acts as an immigrant wealth test, ensuring those who may legally qualify for public benefits like food stamps, Medicaid, and other public assistance programs as “ineligible” to obtain a green card. Although in effect since August of 2019, the executive order by then-President Trump has met numerous legal challenges and criticism from congressional Democrats.

The public charge rule has been utilized on several occasions throughout our nation’s history. There is no doubt that the American immigration system was explicitly biased against certain groups, oftentimes utilizing rules such as the “Public Charge” to discredit the eligibility of thousands. A “public charge” can be classified as anyone likely to become a financial “burden” to the country. This may incorporate immigrants whose financial or physical circumstances would deem them as a public charge. The public charge rule was part of a series of discriminatory laws including the Chinese Exclusion Act and the Immigration act of 1882. The act found those who were “unable to take care of themselves or themselves without becoming a public charge” unable to apply for American citizenship. Over the past several decades, the rule has been adapted and gone under certain revisions.

The effects of the public charge rule can be seen in local immigrant communities throughout the country. Some immigrants neglected their health by avoiding public assistance programs at all costs even while their circumstances required it. During a public health and economic crisis, immigrants should not fear utilizing government assistance programs they pay into. Via executive order, President Biden has called for a review of the program stating it should “consider and evaluate” the effects of the public charge rule and to advise agencies “to clearly communicate current public charge policies and proposed changes, if any, to reduce fear and confusion among impacted communities.” A step in the right direction in ensuring harmful policies aren’t a key part of our immigration system.

Discriminatory immigration practices were a highlight of the forty-fifth president’s tenure. Millions of immigrants were denied a chance at legal status solely based on their economic status or country of origin. From Muslim travel bans to the remain in Mexico policy (forced asylum seekers to wait in Mexico for their case to be heard) immigrants faced dire circumstances as it related to their status and safety. Fortunately, the 2020 election results were a repudiation of President Trump’s anti-immigrant policies. More than ever, Americans support a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. A promising sign that America understands that a divided nation will not help us overcome the Covid-19 pandemic. Further decisiveness and rhetoric will not mend the wounds of centuries of racist policies. After a contentious and historical second impeachment trial and subsequent acquittal of President Trump, our country needs to move on and mend its wounds.

President Joe Biden took bold actions his first few days in office to unwind the last four years. From taking striking action on environmental initiatives to sending immigration legislation to Congress, President Biden understands the need for change but will he be able to make due on his promise and restructure our immigration system? That still remains to be seen. Washington continues to look back on the past, failing to promptly pass much-needed stimulus to millions of people and businesses. The impeachment debate of former president Donald Trump consumed the better part of President Biden’s first month in office. The first 100 days of president Biden’s term are likely to not meet the high accomplishments of his predecessors including Franklin Roosevelt, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Ronald Reagan. But time remains for Biden to take charge and get America back on track in numerous factors. Immigration reform will help rejuvenate our economy, fostering diverse cultures and inviting new ideas from abroad. The benefits of immigration cannot be understated. Covid-19 has only enforced our belief that immigrants are vital to our economy and society. Undocumented immigrants are on the front lines of the pandemic. Countless stories of immigrants working back-to-back shifts in our hospitals to help fight the Covid-19 pandemic demonstrate the need for inviting more immigrants to our country.

Immigration law is complex and at times can be highly confusing. Connecticut immigrants may find themselves in a difficult situation when looking for legal representation. Not knowing what to look for or who to call can be a daunting process. With the ever-changing immigration policies amidst the transition of presidents, immigrants may be left without answers to critical questions they may be having. Failing to acknowledge the complex and evolving nature of your immigration case could result in an unfavorable outcome, one that may affect the lives of you and your loved ones. Improperly filing your application can lead to tremendous delays and subsequent denials. We’ve seen countless immigrants fear not knowing what will happen to them if they were deported due to discrepancies in their application. We’ve reassured immigrants who partner with us that their case will be a priority from the moment they call our firm to the day they obtain legal status. We’ve developed strong relationships with our clients, ensuring personable representation backed by a sense of understanding from where our clients are coming from. A majority of our team members are immigrants themselves, who’ve gone through similar situations just like many of our clients. Our team understands the importance of your case, like you, our team has friends, siblings, parents, grandparents, and loved ones who are going through the immigration process. Our commitment to your goals will correspond with our drive for obtaining a favorable outcome on your behalf.

Ready to partner with an experienced Connecticut Immigration Attorney? Attorney James A. Welcome has three conveniently located offices throughout the state of Connecticut including Danbury, Norwalk, and Waterbury. With covid-19 measures in place, our office is not accepting any in-person consultation at this time. Instead, we have integrated a highly effective video conferencing system with several methods for your convenience including Zoom, Facetime, Facebook, and Microsoft teams! Please contact us at (203) 753-7300 24/7 or at your convenience via our live chat at Se Hable Espanol.