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San Francisco, Arizona set to square off in Supreme Court over Trump immigration rule

The nation’s highest court will answer whether Arizona, and other states, can continue defending the rule where the Trump legal team left off.
San Francisco, Arizona set to square off in Supreme Court over Trump immigration rule
San Francisco, Arizona set to square off in Supreme Court over Trump immigration rule
Published: Feb. 22, 2022 at 1:09 PM MST
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - An immigration fight is making its way to the nation’s high court this week. The state of Arizona is squaring off with the city and County of San Francisco over a Trump-era immigration rule that would have made it more difficult for immigrants to get a green card.

“Any administration, any president, must follow the law,” said Attorney General Mark Brnovich (R-Ariz.).

Brnovich will be in the court Wednesday making his case to the conservative majority bench. Trump’s “public charge rule” said immigrants could not become permanent U.S. citizens if they relied too heavily on government assistance by utilizing food stamps, Medicaid, and other social welfare benefits. The rule was blocked in lower courts in 2020, months after its unveiling.

The Trump legal team was ready to take the case to the Supreme Court, but when he left office, the Biden administration stopped defending the rule. That is when the state of Arizona and others tried to step in to continue defending the policy. The question the court will have to answer is whether these states can pick up where the Trump team left off defending the rule.

“People have argued that it encourages sometimes illegal immigration if you provide those benefits, so the states have an interest here,” said Brnovich.

San Francisco was one of a number of jurisdictions that sued, arguing that the policy would make it too hard for immigrants to succeed in the U.S. San Francisco City Attorney David Chiu said the Biden Administration was right not to defend the rule.

“President Trump was proposing that we deny people benefits simply because they were immigrants. He was proposing, effectively, a wealth test,” said Chiu.

Chiu said with lower courts throwing out the Trump rule, and a new administration in office, there is no chance his policy will go into effect. Chiu believes these states intervening in the legal defense are simply trying to revive a hateful policy.

“Intervention, which is the theory of law that we’re talking about here that allows a party to step in for another party, it’s not unheard of. But we just don’t think in this circumstance that intervention is appropriate,” said Chiu.

Oral arguments are set to begin Wednesday morning at 10 a.m. A ruling from the court is not expected until the spring or early summer.

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