U.S. Supreme Court decides on Public Charge

By Atty. Chris Caday Lozano

A new immigration-restricting regulatory initiative from the Justice Department that has been tied up in the federal courts got at least a temporary green light from the Supreme Court in a 5-4 ruling putting aside a lower-court hold on its implementation pending full court review. SCOTUS’s five conservative justices (Chief Justice Roberts, Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch, and Kavanaugh) voted for the ruling, while its liberal bloc (Breyer, Ginsburg, Sotomayor, and Kagan) voted against it.

The initiative in question expands the official definition of what makes applicants for immigration “public charges,” i.e., too dependent on public-assistance programs to support themselves.

In a long-proposed and highly controversial policy change sure to attract a host of lawsuits, the Trump administration is moving ahead with a proposed new regulation expanding restrictions on federally funded cash benefits for large groups of legal immigrants to include non-cash benefits like food stamps, health-care benefits, and housing assistance. The new “public charge” rule (a reference to the empowerment of immigration officials to bar otherwise legal immigrants’ visas or green cards if they are likely to become a “public charge” dependent on government benefits) is apparently the apple of Trump policy adviser Stephen Miller’s eye, central to the administration’s strategy of reducing legal as well as illegal immigration.

As the New York Times reports, the rule was on hold pending an appeal being heard in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals:

The Supreme Court considered two cases brought in New York, one by groups that provide services to immigrants and the other by New York, Connecticut, Vermont, and New York City. The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, in Manhattan, denied the administration’s request for a stay of two nationwide injunctions issued by a trial judge, and it scheduled arguments in the first week of March.

Now SCOTUS’s five conservative justices have jumped into the fray and killed the stays, even as the appeal moves on. This doesn’t mean the administration wins the ultimate decision, but it’s a good sign that a majority of the Supreme Court thinks it is more likely than not.

Note:     This is not a legal advice.


  1. For the month of December 2019, we received four approvals of naturalization applications, five approvals of Adjustment of Status applications, two approvals of Petition to remove condition on residence, one renewal of green card approval and one green card application at the U.S. Embassy.
  2. For the month of November 2019, we received approvals of one naturalization application, one renewal of green card, one Petition to remove condition on residence and one adjustment of status.
  3. For the month of October 2019, we received five naturalization application approvals and two renewal of green card and one DACA approval.
  4. For the month of September 2019, we received approval of two naturalization applications, one adjustment of status and one application to remove condition on residence.
  5. For the month of August, 2019, we received approval from Immigration Court for a waiver of misrepresentation for a client who has committed marriage fraud. We also received approval from USCIS of two naturalization applications and two fiancé visa petition.
  6. For the month of July 2019, we received approvals of three N-400 application for Naturalization, one I-751 Petition to remove condition of residence with interview and two I-90 renewal of green card.
  7. For June 2019, we received approvals of four adjustment of status, six naturalization applications and two certificate of citizenship applications, and one Removal of condition on resident.
  8. On May 6, 2019, we received approvals of three adjustment of status applications and two Naturalization applications.
  9. On April 24, 2019, we received approval from USCIS for three naturalization applications and one adjustment of status.
  10. On March 29, 2019, we received an approval of adjustment of status for a client whose petitioner and primary beneficiary has died under INA 204(l)
  11. On March 28, 2019, we received an approval of renewal of green card for a client who was in the Philippines under medical treatment for one and a half years.
  12. From March 4 to 26, 2019, we received six adjustment of status approvals.
  13. For the month of February, 2019, we received tow approvals of renewal of green card and one approval of removal of condition on residence.
  14. On January 16, 2019, we received an approval of naturalization for a client who received a waiver of misrepresentation in Immigration Court.

If you have immigration problems the Law Offices of Crispin C. Lozano can help you find a solution before your problem gets worse which could lead to deportation and family separation.

Crispin Caday Lozano, Esq. is an active member of the State Bar of California, the American Immigration Lawyers Association and San Francisco Trial Lawyers.  He practices immigration law, bankruptcy and personal injury law since June 1999.  His contact phone is 1-877-456-9266, email: info@CCLlaw.net

Toll Free 1-877-4LOZANO for free consultation or Schedule an Appointment