Green Card Residency

The Supreme Court, in a 5-4 vote (I’m tempted to say “party line vote,” but CJ Roberts might demur were he not otherwise occupied at the moment), lifted a district court’s stay blocking implementation of the Trump administration’s public charge immigration rule. The rule blocks permanent residency and allows for denial of entry visas in the first place for those in our nation or entering it if they are considered likely to rely on our welfare programs. The stay removal allows the rule to be enforced while the underlying case wends its way through the courts.

Europe, exemplified by Deutsche Welle, is dismayed (even as many of the EU’s members demur from accepting immigrants making their passage from northern Africa).  It’s a harsher immigration law.  It significantly expands the criteria for denying legal residency. It disproportionately put[s] permanent residency out of reach for low-income applicants from developing countries.

The stay-issuing district judge, George Daniels, is in a high dudgeon, too. He wrote in his ruling that the rule was repugnant to the American Dream, and was a policy of exclusion in search of justification.

Last things first. The district judge was—and is—completely out of line in his ruling. His task, his duty as an American judge, is to find the law underlying the rule, or the rule itself, unconstitutional or, failing that, to apply the underlying law and the rule as they are written. Full stop.

Our Constitution and the judge’s oath of office, which enjoins him to uphold our Constitution, bar him from implementing his personal opinion or his personal view of what’s good or bad for our society.

Regarding the alleged disproportional impact on the poor or on third-world applicants, that may or may not be true. However, as is the case with all nations, those entering ours are expected to be beneficial to our nation, not drains on it.

On the beef that the rule makes it harder for an entrant to gain legal residency, that’s the point of borders. No one has an inherent right to come into another nation without that nation’s prior permission. No nation has an inherent obligation to grant that permission. Entry requirements and entrants are solely at the discretion of that nation.

Nor have we any obligation to extend the benefits of our already overstretched (and too inefficiently run) welfare programs to noncitizens. Such an extended overstretch can only work to the detriment of our citizens.

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