(LOS ANGELES) –  The U.S. Supreme Court today voted 5-4 to lift a preliminary injunction that blocked the Trump administration’s punitive “public charge rule” from taking effect. The rule seeks to impose unprecedented and alarming limits on legal immigration and punish immigrants who legally access public services.

The Court’s decision means the rule can now take effect – except in Illinois — while ongoing legal challenges continue to move through the courts.

Please attribute the following statement on the Court’s decision to Thomas A. Saenz, president and general counsel of MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund):

“The Supreme Court’s decision today to stay a nationwide injunction prohibiting implementation of the Trump administration’s detestable rule to implement its unsupportable interpretation of ‘public charge’ in immigration law – an interpretation that is wholly at odds with what Congress has done or said on the issue – once more aligns the conservative Court majority with the actions of the most aggressively nativist president in our nation’s history.  Like the Court majority’s decisions on the Muslim ban and on the border wall, the justices have become chief abettors of a pernicious campaign to trigger fear and confusion in every immigrant family in this country.  This ivory-tower decision will have very real impacts on children, including United States citizen children, whose daily burden of feeling abandoned by their own country just became heavier, with undoubted long-term impacts on education, health, and national unity.

“The stay order itself is cryptic, but two justices chose this occasion to reiterate publicly their unduly cramped view of the role of federal courts in this country.  Justices Gorsuch and Thomas express hostility toward nationwide injunctions because of how they burden the federal government, assigning no apparent importance to the burden their view would impose on the poor and disenfranchised who have reposed trust in the federal courts for over 65 years, since the beginning of the civil rights era of the twentieth century.  The justices’ view, were it to prevail, would catalyze a proliferation of expensive litigation to be waged, out of absolute necessity, in every state on behalf of those most in need of — and most entitled to – federal court protection.

“In two important respects, then, this decision highlights the overarching importance of federal judicial appointments, and of participation in this year’s election by every eligible voter with a stake in protecting our nation’s least powerful, including particularly young children.”