CNN reports that on December 2, in a 2-1 ruling, the Ninth Circuit continued the decision of other courts to place an injunction of implementation of the Trump public charge rule. I have posted (such as here) on the changes to the public charge rule, which raised the barrier to persons from obtaining permanent legal status. The changes in effect said that public assistance (such as subsidized housing and food vouchers) which close to half American households use over any period of five or so years are off limits to immigrants who seek green cards – either if they used them or if U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services decided there was a high likelihood of their use after a green card was issued.
Per CNN the court concluded that the rule causes financial harm to states and doesn’t promote self-sufficiency as the administration has suggested. The panel also argued that the administration failed to explain the abrupt change in policy. “Addressing DHS’s contention that the statute’s overall purpose is to promote self-sufficiency, the panel concluded that providing access to better health care, nutrition, and supplemental housing benefits is consistent with precisely that purpose,” wrote Judge Mary M. Schroeder for the majority.
The court cited a prior decision to hold up the implementation of the rule: “The Plaintiffs do not argue, and we do not hold, that the receipt of various kinds of public benefits is irrelevant to the determination of whether a non-citizen is likely to become a public charge. But defining public charge to mean the receipt, even for a limited period, of any of a wide range of public benefits – particularly . . . ones that are designed to supplement an individual’s or family’s efforts to support themselves, rather than to deal with their likely permanent inability to do so – is inconsistent with the traditional understanding.”
The court also faulted the administration for its “abrupt” reversal of policy without careful analysis of reasons.” The plaintiffs argue that DHS failed the test in three principal respects: It failed to take into account the costs the Rule would impose on state and local governments; it did not consider the adverse effects on health, including both the health of immigrants who might withdraw from programs and the overall health of the community; and it did not adequately explain why it was changing the policy that was thoroughly explained in the 1999 Guidance.”
The court decision is here.