Trump’s pick wants to roll back the rights of legal immigrants, votes in favor of harsher deportation sentences

Amy Coney Barrett has repeatedly ruled against the rights of immigrants, siding with the Trump administration on its so-called “public charge” rule and repeatedly voting for overly harsh interpretations of immigration law.

  • Barrett voted to let the Trump administration impose a so-called “public charge” rule that would have prevented immigrants from receiving legal permanent resident status if they had availed themselves of certain public benefits to which, by law, they were entitled. The Trump rule vastly expanded the definition of “public charge,” thereby expanding the universe of immigrants who were deemed ineligible for legal permanent resident status. 
  • In June 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit struck down the “public charge” rule that was adopted by the Trump administration. Though the Immigration and Nationality Act had always included a provision denying legal permanent resident status to “public charge[s],” the statue did not define “public charge” and the provision had only been used to deny status to immigrants who were primarily dependent on a limited number of cash assistance programs. 
  • Barrett dissented from the majority opinion striking down the rule, and would have allowed the rule to go into immediate effect, with devastating consequences for hundreds of thousands of legal immigrants.
  • Barrett wrote the majority opinion rejecting an El Salvadoran immigrant’s request for protection from deportation under the Convention Against Torture. Though the immigrant in the case fled to the U.S. because he was the target of gang violence in his home country, his request for protection was rejected based on what the dissent described as “minor” and “trivial” inconsistencies in his testimony.
  • Barrett’s majority opinion affirmed the Bureau of Immigration Appeals’ rejection of the immigrant’s request for protection from deportation.
  • Barrett wrote an opinion dismissing the case of a U.S. citizen who claimed his due process rights were violated when a consular official denied his spouse a visa based on unsubstantiated and contradicted allegations of wrongdoing. 
  • Over a vehement dissent, the majority ruled that the federal courts lack jurisdiction to hear the case. Barrett later joined the majority in denying a rehearing en banc.
  • Barrett cast the deciding vote to allow for the immediate deportation of a legal permanent resident who had lived in the United States for over thirty years but who became deportable simply because of an arcane, and since-repealed, federal law that treats children of naturalized mothers and children of mothers who are citizens by birth differently.