Three states and a group of immigration organizations have asked the Supreme Court to not intervene in cases regarding the implementation of a new "public charge" rule and instead let the cases play out in the courts.
The rule will consider a person a public charge if they receive at least one government benefit for more than 12 months in a three-year period.
In the New York cases, three states—New York, Connecticut, and Vermont—and a group of immigration organizations such as Make the Road New York sued the Trump administration, in separate cases, to stop the rule from taking effect.
The state officials and immigration groups argued in separate filings on Jan. 22 that the top court should not lift the injunctions because the Trump administration has not identified any reasons for the need to let the rule take effect immediately.
They said that four circuit courts are currently expeditiously considering the appeals on their merits and will issue decisions in the next few months. They also said that the current immigration framework dealing with decisions surrounding public charges is lawful, and the courts should not disrupt the status quo.
"Granting a stay here would inject confusion and uncertainty into immigration decisions and plaintiffs’ administration of their public-benefits programs, and deter potentially millions of noncitizens residing in plaintiffs’ jurisdictions from accessing public benefits that they are legally entitled to obtain," the state officials said.
They also said the expansion of the definition of “public charge” is unlawful because "it vastly exceeds the long-established understanding of that term, contrary to Congress’s intent to incorporate this consensus understanding into federal immigration law."
The administration said the “decisions by multiple courts of appeals have been rendered effectively meaningless within their own territorial jurisdictions because of a single district court’s nationwide injunctions, starkly illustrat[ing] the problems that such injunctions pose.”
The administration also said the injunctions “would result in effectively irreparable harm to the government.”
The brief stated, "When Congress reenacted the public-charge provision without material change in 1996, it legislated against the backdrop of a long-settled understanding of “public charge” as limited to noncitizens who primarily depend on the government over the long term."
"Courts must presume that Congress intended to ratify that long-established meaning when it reenacted the provision without changing it."
“The Administration’s rule opens the door to unfettered and arbitrary discrimination, vast uncertainty and heightened confusion in our immigration and public assistance systems and therefore ‘would be impossible to apply rationally or fairly,'” she said.
"Under the Administration’s rule, an immigrant could conceivably be denied critical, life-saving benefits, based simply on language skills or perceived likelihood to one day participate in any assistance initiatives."
The White House didn't immediately respond to a request by The Epoch Times for comment.