(CBS13/CNN) — The Supreme Court Monday in a 5-4 vote cleared the way for the Trump administration to make it more difficult for immigrants who rely on public assistance to obtain legal status.
The so-called public charge rule, unveiled in August, impacts people who receive most forms of Medicaid, food stamps and housing vouchers. It was immediately met with opposition from advocates and several states, which argued that the changes would penalize immigrants who rely on temporary assistance from the government and impose costs on the states.
The vote split along ideological lines, with the five conservative justices in the majority.
The order was also issued while Chief Justice John Roberts was presiding over the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump in the US Senate across the street from the Supreme Court.
A New York judge last fall issued a nationwide injunction blocking the rule. Solicitor General Noel Francisco appealed that ruling to the Supreme Court, asking the justices to allow the rule to go into effect while the appeals process played out.
Monday’s order means the rule can go into effect in every state, pending appeal, except for Illinois which is covered by a separate injunction.
In response to the vote, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued this statement:
“The effects of today’s Supreme Court decision on the “public charge” rule will be devastating. Because of the “public charge” rule, families are already going hungry and people are avoiding needed medical care.
“California is actively reviewing the decision to determine next steps and provide further guidance to impacted Californians. California will continue to fight against these efforts to terrorize immigrant families.
“Anyone concerned about this ruling should seek qualified immigration advice.”
Newsom’s 2020-2021 state budget proposal includes $75 million to qualified organizations that provide a broad array of immigration services.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. CNN contributed to this report.)