Oh, SCOTUS, how I love to hate thee. If you haven’t already caught the news, Trump’s “public charge,” policy aka wealth-screen is now able to move forward in every state except Illinois thanks to today’s decision granting a stay to the
government. Ostensibily, the opinion is about the abuse of universal injunctions, but even Gorsuch was clear that the court didn’t really deal with that problem in general, choosing to limit the point to this immigration case.
Today was really about supporting the anti-immigrant BS of this administration. I get that many countries such as England and even Canada want immigrants to show that they can work or have some money in the bank before letting them in. In theory, that sounds practical if you believe they are going to suck up all the services (the veracity of that idea is quite debatable). But what this attitude means is that someone in my situation, for instance, with an immigrant spouse that takes care of the house and family while I go to the office is more likely now to have to prove some individual income. Never-mind how much I make or what life insurance we have. It also means people willing to risk their lives for economic opportunity will be kept out.
About that…since when did wealthy immigrants make America great? So many Horatio Alger stories from the Robber Baron age to this gilded time have been someone who started with nothing. Most of my family has been here since the 1600s on one side and is native on the other. The only immigrants to the U.S. that I know of came in the 1920s and worked like crazy. The immigrant work ethic is both foreign and awe-inspiring to me–it makes the so-called Protestant work ethic look like child’s play. It comes from a desire to make life better for oneself and one’s family. That spirit burns most ardently in the tired, poor, and huddled masses yearning to breathe free–not the upper class. It’s those kinds of folks that are likely to embody the ideals of Benjamin Franklin. I imagine they are the least likely to be looking for an entitlement or something for free. I can barely think of anything more un-American than this “public charge” policy.