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The Immigration and Nationality Act states that any alien who is “likely at any time to become a public charge is inadmissible,” the court said. The new Department of Homeland Security rule, which defines “public charge” in a manner that is generally expected to restrict the number of immigrants admitted to the U.S., likely is a permissible interpretation of that provision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit said, as reported by Bloomberg Law.

The recent decision undid a lower court order that had blocked the rule’s enforcement nationwide, pending a decision on the rule’s legality from a higher court.

“The decision creates a circuit split. It came one day after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld an order stopping the rule from taking effect in New York, Connecticut, and Vermont. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ordered the agency to stop enforcing the rule in the Chicago area in June.

Congress gave the executive branch the power to define and implement the INA and its provisions while “assiduously” resisting giving terms like “public charge” a fixed and definite meaning, the court said. Courts shouldn’t step in and do so, given the executive branch’s authority over immigration, it said.”

And, while the definition of “public charge” has changed over time, there was nothing to say the agency’s 2019 interpretation was entirely wrong, the court added.

The U.S. Supreme Court let the new rule take effect in January, blocking lower court injunctions against it. In April, the justices refused to halt the policy because of the Covid-19 outbreak.

For the complete story, please visit Bloomberg Law.

Updated: Mon, Sep 21st 2020 @ 3:54pm EDT