STATEMENT: Supreme Court Public Charge Ruling Makes Our Immigration System Crueler and More Dysfunctional

Washington, D.C. — Today, the U.S. Supreme Court voted 5-4 along ideological lines to allow the Trump administration’s discriminatory public charge rule to go into effect. Following the ruling, the Center for American Progress’ Alexandra Cawthorne Gaines and Tom Jawetz issued the following statements:

Alexandra Cawthorne Gaines, vice president of the Poverty to Prosperity Program:

Today, the Supreme Court aided and abetted the Trump administration and its war on people struggling to make ends meet. The public charge rule will not make our immigration system work better. It merely targets children relying on the school lunch program to eat; disabled people seeking medical care; and families struggling financially on their way to achieving the American dream. This ruling will have the end result of increasing poverty, housing insecurity, and educational attainment. The rule is nothing more than a discriminatory wealth test that will harm people regardless of their immigration status.

Tom Jawetz, vice president of Immigration Policy:

The public charge rule takes a blowtorch to our already insufficient legal immigration channels and makes the immigration system even more cruel and dysfunctional. The ruling also highlights the aggressive nature of this ideological court, which has once again interfered in an emergency stay request at an early stage of the proceedings in order to put its thumb on the scale in favor of allowing Trump policies to move ahead while they are still being litigated. Ultimately, this ruling not only undermines the rule of law by making our immigration system less fair, humane, and workable, but it also undermines the Supreme Court’s legitimacy as an institution concerned with the rights of individuals, as opposed to the politics of the White House.

For more information or to speak to an expert, please contact Julia Cusick at or 202-495-3682.