Jan 27, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Supreme Court allows Trump administration to penalize immigrants likely to use public benefits

The U.S. Supreme Court building
Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

The Supreme Court ruled Monday that the Trump administration can begin enforcing new rules that penalize immigrants who are likely to rely on certain public programs, such as food stamps or Medicaid.

Why it matters: This isn't a final ruling on the rules' legality — the 5-4 vote allows them to take effect while courts decide further — but it's a significant incremental victory for the White House. It'll quickly make it much harder for lower-income immigrants to get a green card, change their immigration status or become citizens.

Go deeper: Health of immigrants at risk in changes to public assistance policies

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