• La Raza Pre-Law Student Association

2/26 - Department of Homeland Security v. New York

Facts of the case: Recently this week, the U.S. supreme court has started to hear arguments of an immigration case regarding the issue of green card holders and public assistance known as Department of Homeland Security v New York. The previous Trump administration modified the definition of a "public charge" to deny immigrants from their green card or permanent residence application, which used public benefits for more than a year. These benefits include Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). However, a federal court appeal in New York issued a permanent injunction to prevent the Trump Administration's expanded definition on public charge. Yet, the U.S. Homeland Security petitioned for a writ of certiorari to review the N.Y. District Court decision, and the Supreme court granted the request. I will talk about my take on this case and my prediction. Opinion: The Supreme Court is considering whether the public charge is contrary to law and capricious. Based on this case's facts, the Supreme Court should rule in favor of the defendants in this case, which are the State of New York. The reason why the Supreme Court should rule in favor of the defendants is that precedent cases already led that "Public charge" is limited to individuals who are "unwilling to work" (Brief in Opposition, 12/20). The second reason is that the "public charge" rule is ambiguous and vague, and it needs to have a clear definition. And the final reason is that the Biden Administration made changes to the Green Card policy, which is the disputed point. On a personal level, this especially hits home because, during the covid crisis, low-income Hispanic families chose not to receive public assistance due to the fears that their application would get denied. That is why the Hispanic immigrant community got hit the hardest by the Covid crisis since they did not have any help from public assistance while contributing to the U.S. economy. Prediction: This case relating to immigration will be an interesting case to observe since the Roberts court had mixed decision rulings on immigration. Last year, in the Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California, the supreme court ruled that Trump's policy of rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), citing the law as both arbitrary and capricious. However, in Kansas v. Garcia, the Supreme Court ruled that Kansas's laws on state identity-theft and fraud towards noncitizen individuals were not expressly or impliedly preempted by the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA); therefore, the Kansas law was legal. Now that Amy Coney Barret replaced the late Ruth Bader Ginsberg (RIP), she will most likely rule in favor of the DHS. When she was the Seventh Circuit judge, she frequently ruled in denying asylum to immigrants who escape trauma or other relief towards immigrants. It would more likely go in favor of the DHS, but I will not be surprised if the court goes in favor of New York because now there is a new administration and already Biden made changes to the Green Card policy, there is no reason for this dispute. Citations:

  1. Supreme Court will consider Trump admin rule that made it easier to deny green cards to poor immigrants

  2. Supreme Court to Hear Cases on Abortion Referrals and Immigration

  3. More poor immigrants will be deemed likely 'public charges' and denied green cards under new rule

  4. Appeals Court Blocks Immigrant Wealth Test in the Northeast

  5. Biden reverses Trump actions on green cards, architecture and 'anarchist jurisdictions'

  6. Brief in Opposition for New York

  7. Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California

  8. Kansas v. Garcia

  9. Amy Coney Barrett’s Troubling Record on Asylum and Immigration

Written by Brandon Blanco, Political Chair. The views expressed in the journal are their own and not the view of The La Raza Pre Law.

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