The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear a bid by Republican states to take over the defense of a Trump-era rule that restricted green cards for immigrants deemed likely to be reliant on welfare – after the Biden administration dropped the legal defense of the rule.

The “public charge” rule was introduced during the Trump administration and expanded the definition of “public charge” as an immigrant who receives one or more designated public benefits for more than 12 months within a 36-month period. Whether an immigrant would be a “public charge” would be considered when they applied for permanent residency in the U. S.

The Trump administration said the rule protected American taxpayers, safeguarded welfare programs and ensured immigrants were self-reliant. Opponents of the rule said it was cruel, discriminatory and would stop immigrants getting the help they needed.