The immigrant wealth test proposed by United States President Donald Trump was recently favored by the Supreme Court, said Bloomberg. The proposal, which will require immigrants to undergo an evaluation of their financial status, garnered a 5-4 vote from the Court.
The vote effectively removed a ruling imposed by a New York federal judge, which had been blocking the policy from being implemented. This ruling was supposed to be in effect while the law is being eliminated.
Bloomberg explained that Trump’s immigration test “changes” what is seen as a “longstanding understanding of federal immigration law and its bar on permanent residency” for individuals who are considered “public charges.”
With this vote, the Trump administration will now be able to screen green card applicants using a test that checks immigrants’ possibility of “becoming dependent on government benefits.” Moreover, the new policy gives government officials “broad power” to determine who is at risk of becoming a public charge.
The policy introduces new criteria that offer “positive” or “negative” factors that immigration officials will use in their decision-making. According to the rule, applications who might need Medicaid, public assistance or food stamps for over 12 months within a 36-month period may be denied. Other criteria include English language proficiency, family size, wealth and credit scores, among others.
Critics say that this law will “[make] it easier to deny immigrants residency or admission” into the country. Moreover, dissenters argue that this rule will punish legal immigrants who are in need of financial help from the government, said the Washington Post.
New York Attorney General Letitia James noted that the wealth test could cause “confusion and uncertainty” to immigration policies. This can also prevent non-citizens residing in the country’s jurisdictions from getting the public benefits they need and are entitled to use.
Officials remarked that the rule is a way to ensure that prospective immigrants will be able to cover their own expenses while in the US “without burdening taxpayers.”