|A divided Supreme Court on Monday allowed the Trump administration to put in place new rules that could jeopardize permanent resident status for immigrants who use food stamps, Medicaid and housing vouchers.
Under the new policy, immigration officials can deny green cards to legal immigrants over their use of public benefits. The justices' order came by a 5-4 vote and reversed a ruling from the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York that had kept in place a nationwide hold on the policy following lawsuits against it.
The court's four liberal justices, Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, voted to prevent the policy from taking effect.
Federal appeals courts in San Francisco and Richmond, Virginia, had previously overturned trial court rulings against the rules. An injunction in Illinois remains in effect but applies only to that state.
The lawsuits will continue, but immigrants applying for permanent residency must now show they wouldn't be public charges, or burdens to the country.
The new policy significantly expands what factors would be considered to make that determination, and if it is decided that immigrants could potentially become public charges later, that legal residency could be denied. Under the old rules, people who used non-cash benefits, including food stamps and Medicaid, were not considered public charges.