Latest litigation update: January 13, 2020
The Department of Homeland Security has submitted an application to the U.S. Supreme Court, asking the Court to grant a stay of the injunction that the Second Circuit Court of Appeals denied earlier this month. The current nationwide injunction prevents DHS from implementing the rule while the various lawsuits work their way through the courts. Opposing parties have until January 22, 2020 to file a response.
For more on how DHS’ public charge rule would impact people with disabilities if it were to become law, check out our fact sheet and explainer. The latest updates on the ongoing litigation can be found here.
Overview of the Public Charge Rule
On August 12, 2019, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it had finalized the “public charge” rule. The final public charge rule, like the proposed rule, will be devastating to — and explicitly discriminates against — people with disabilities and their families who are seeking to enter the U.S. or applying for a green card. CPR issued this statement condemning the new public charge rule.
The public charge rule is unfair and harmful to people with disabilities and their families who are seeking to enter the U.S. or applying for a green card. The rule expressly discriminates against people with disabilities and chronic health conditions. This rule also means that an individual 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. Because Medicaid provides critical services that help people with disabilities live in the community and that are not generally available through private insurance, this rule will especially harm people with disabilities and their families. It not only could prevent them from entering the US or becoming permanent residents, but will discourage eligible families from using critical public services for fear of harming their immigration status.
The rule was scheduled to go into effect on October 15, 2019, but twenty one states, led by California, Washington, and New York, filed cases against the Trump Administration to block the new rule and were successful in delaying implementation of the rule. 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. Read our full press release here and learn more about the lawsuits here.
A fact sheet reviewing the basics of the rule and its impact on people with disabilities is available here. A more in-depth explanation of the rule and the lawsuits challenging it can be found here. Learn more about the final rule at the Protecting Immigrant Families Coalition website, and keep checking back here for updates.