The Supreme Court has overruled the nation's lower courts on several immigration cases to send the message that they're being "too activist," Acting Department of Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli said Monday after the court overruled a ruling in Illinois to block the Trump administration from enforcing its "public charge" rule.
"This is the third time, if you count the wall and the Remain in Mexico program dating back to September of last year, where the Supreme Court has stepped in and either in word or deed told these lower courts, you're being too activist, this isn't outside the law and you need to let the case run its course," Cuccinelli told Fox News' "Fox and Friends."
The public charge rule, which takes effect on Monday, allows the government to refuse green cards for legal immigrants who either use or are determined likely to use safety net programs like Medicaid or food stamps.
The court overruled a decision made in Cook County, Illinois, which dealt in that state only with the administration expanding situations to deny visas to include welfare-style recipients. Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor issued a scathing dissent arguing that the majority showed the court's habit of siding with the government concerning emergency rulings stays.
Cuccinelli, though, accused Sotomayor of hitting the issue "with a bank shot" while missing the target the Supreme Court hit against the "activist judges" at the lower courts who are trying to block Trump.
The public charge rule, he argued, is not meant to be a "moral judgment," but an economic one.
"We expect in America, as we have for over 140 years, that people seeking to be long-term immigrants here and maybe join us as citizens will be able to stand on their own two feet," he said.
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