Public Charge Rule Can Move Ahead, Supreme Court Rules

January 28, 2020

The Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration can move forward with its green card rule, known as ‘public charge.’

Essentially, this rule can make it more difficult for foreign nationals to establish permanent residency. 

This rule allows the administration to deny permanent residency (aka green cards) to foreign nationals if they are dependent on, or will likely become dependent on public-assistance programs. These programs can include food stamps, housing assistance or Medicaid.

The 5-4 decision overturns injunctions from lower courts that had blocked the rule from going into effect during the fall. The decision was divided along ideological lines.

Next Steps

The Trump administration is now expanding its definition of 'public charge.' The administration will deem anyone a public charge if she or he receives benefits “for more than an aggregate of 12 months over any 36-month period…,” according to Reuters.

Following Monday’s decision, Trump’s public charge rule can move forward nearly everywhere in the country even though there are multiple outstanding legal challenges in the lower courts. Illinois the only state where the 'public charge' rule will remain blocked.

Sign of Things To Come?

Following the ruling, Justice Neil Gorsuch issued an opinion in which he seemingly indicated his frustrations with the use of nationwide injunctions that federal courts have used to block some of the Trump administration’s rules and policies.

“We might at an appropriate juncture take up some of the underlying equitable and constitutional questions raised by the rise of nationwide injunctions,” wrote Justice Gorsuch.

His opinion is important to keep in mind because there is a presidential proclamation that  was also blocked by federal judges last fall. This proclamation would have required immigrants seeking to obtain a visa prove they have health insurance or the financial means to pay for medical costs.

Be sure to subscribe to the Envoy blog to receive the latest updates from Envoy and Global Immigration Associates, P.C.

Envoy is pleased to provide you this information, which was prepared in collaboration with Sara Herbek, who is the Managing Partner at Global Immigration Associates, P.C. (, Envoy’s affiliated law firm.


Previous Article
Judge Permanently Blocks 2018 Trump Immigration Policy
Judge Permanently Blocks 2018 Trump Immigration Policy

A federal judge issued a permanent nationwide injunction on Thursday that blocks a 2018 action from the Tru...

Next Article
USCIS Will Implement H-1B Electronic Registration for FY 2021
USCIS Will Implement H-1B Electronic Registration for FY 2021

USCIS will implement the H-1B electronic registration system for Fiscal Year 2021 cap season, the agency an...


Subscribe To Our Blog

Thank you for subscribing!
Error - something went wrong!