Jan. 14 (UPI) -- The Trump administration has filed an emergency appeal with the Supreme Court asking the justices to lift a hold preventing it from strengthening requirements for granting residency to immigrants.
In the 40-page filing, Solicitor General Noel Francisco, who represents the administration at the Supreme Court, urged the justices to lift the stay during the appeals process as it hurts the government by granting immigration to those it deems unqualified.
In August, the administration adopted new immigration rules that would expand the definition of its public charge policy, allowing immigration officials to deny green cards and visas to immigrants who rely on Medicaid, housing vouchers, food stamps and other types of public assistance, spurring several lawsuits from at least three states and five activist organizations.
U.S. District Judge George Daniels for the Southern District of New York in October issued a nationwide injunction against implementing the new rule as the plaintiffs are likely to succeed in their lawsuit.
However, judges in the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals voted 2-1 in early December in favor of lifting stays on implementing the new rule placed by federal judges in California and Washington, arguing the phrase "public charge" is subject to multiple interpretations.
"It, in fact, has been interpreted differently, and the executive branch has been afforded the discretion to interpret it," Appeals Judge Jay Bybee wrote.
In the filing Monday, Francisco argued that the injunction hurts the government as it forces the Department of Homeland Security "to grant status to those not legally entitled to it."
"This court should stay the district county's injunctions in their entirety pending the completion of further proceedings in the court of appeals and, if necessary, this court," Francisco said. "At least, the court should stay the nationwide effect of the injunctions such that they apply only to aliens whom the government and non-governmental respondents identify as receiving services in the jurisdictions in which they operate."