Increasing numbers of immigrants have begun forbearing from Medicaid coverage … based on concerns that using such benefits will render them a “public charge”…’
(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) The liberal attorneys general of New York, Connecticut and Vermont are asking the Supreme Court to put a temporary stay on the Trump administration’s “public charge” rule, claiming the coronavirus should prompt SCOTUS to reconsider the immigration policy’s value.
The Trump administration’s “public charge” rule allows immigration authorities to see whether immigrant applicants use public benefits, such as Medicaid, food stamps and housing vouchers, before they award green cards and/or visas.
The Supreme Court upheld this rule in a 5-4 decision earlier in its term, but the states are still trying to fight it.
New York Attorney general Letitia James argued in the states’ petition that immigrants are “highly vulnerable” to the coronavirus because many work in essential industries, such as food and retail delivery.
Because of this, many have been exposed to the virus and have had to depend on public-health benefits, such as Medicaid.
The Trump administration’s “public charge” rule, however, discourages immigrants from applying for these benefits.
“Since the Public Charge Rule came into effect, increasing numbers of immigrants have begun forbearing from Medicaid coverage and other publicly funded healthcare benefits based on concerns that using such benefits will render them a ‘public charge’ and thus jeopardize their ability to obtain legal permanent resident status and, eventually, citizenship,” the petition states, according to CNN.
James also claimed that the immigration policy could actually accelerate the spread of the coronavirus by discouraging immigrants from seeking medical attention.
“Every person who doesn’t get the health coverage they need today risks infecting another person with the coronavirus tomorrow,” James said in a statement, adding that the “public charge” actively undermines “efforts to slow the continued spread of the virus happening nationwide.”