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SCOTUS Ruling on Administration Plan Threatens Migrants and Families

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January 30, 2020

The U.S. Supreme Court has allowed the Trump Administration to broaden the benefit programs that would deem a migrant ineligible for admission to the United States.

For decades, if a migrant was likely to need General Assistance, long-term institutionalization at the government’s expense or disability income, he or she was not allowed to immigrate. 

Under the Trump Administration’s proposal, benefits that would disallow migration would be expanded to include food (SNAP), housing (Section 8) and medical assistance (Medicare).  Read more in “An Overhaul of Legal Immigration Through the Back Door.”

A USCCB statement said that “[i]n our experience serving the poor and vulnerable, we know that many immigrant families lawfully access important medical and social services that are vital to public health and welfare. There is already misinformation about the ‘public charge’ rule circulating in immigrant communities, and this decision will further deter families eligible for assistance from coming forward to access the services they need, such as nutrition assistance and housing. The Supreme Court’s decision will have devastating consequences for immigrant communities, as those impacted are cast into the shadows because they fear deportation and family separation for seeking critical support.”

In a released statement, Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA) expressed it is “extremely disappointed” in the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on the ‘public charge’ rule.

“We implore the Administration to reconsider this harsh and unnecessary policy and rescind it in its entirety,” said CCUSA’s President and CEO Sister Donna Markham OP, Ph.D.  “By allowing this harmful policy to go into effect, the Administration imposes a chilling effect on access to basic services, creating fear among eligible individuals threatening family unity and stability.”

Lawsuits are still pending in several states.  The SCOTUS ruling allows the change to move forward as the lawsuits work their way through the courts.