Public Charge Litigation
Update: January 30, 2020
Earlier this week, the US Supreme Court issued a decision overturning the nationwide injunction against the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) public charge rule, leaving only one statewide injunction in Illinois in effect. The rule will exclude immigrants with disabilities from this country and discourage those already in the US from using critical public benefits, including the Medicaid-funded home and community based services many disabled people rely on to fully participate in their communities.
That decision means that the rule can now be implemented while the Courts of Appeals review whether it is illegal and today it was announced that the Administration plans to do exactly that, implementing the rule on February 24, 2020. Allowing this rule to go into effect will serve to spread confusion and fear among immigrant communities and will allow illegal discrimination to go unchecked while litigation is ongoing. Read our full statement on the Supreme Court’s decision here.
Lawsuits Challenging the Final Public Charge Rule
The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) public charge rule, which was set to go into effect October 15, 2019, would be devastating for immigrants with disabilities, and means individuals could be denied admission or have their application for lawful permanent residency denied because they used (or even might use in the future) a wide range of government programs, including Medicaid, housing assistance, or food assistance.
Twenty-one states, led by California, Washington, and New York, filed cases against the Trump Administration to block the Department of Homeland Security’s public charge rule and were initially successful in delaying implementation of the rule. However, on January 27, 2020, the Supreme Court issued an order allowing the rule to go into effect, meaning it is currently in effect everywhere except for Illinois, where a statewide injunction against the rule still exists. The Center for Public Representation, American Civil Liberties Union, and sixteen other national disability advocacy groups represented by the global law firm Latham & Watkins filed amicus briefs in support of the litigation. The advocacy groups – representing tens of thousands of people with disabilities and their families across the country – claim that the new public charge rule will prevent people with disabilities from entering this country or becoming legal residents in violation of federal disability law.
Below are litigation highlights and links to filings in all of the lawsuits against the rule. To learn more about the rule, visit our main public charge page here and for more on how DHS’ public charge rule will affect people with disabilities, check out our fact sheet and explainer.
For more resources and information, please visit the Protecting Immigrant Families website.