AILA Public Statements, Press Releases

AILA Disappointed in Supreme Court Stay of Injunction of Public Charge Rule

1/27/20 AILA Doc. No. 20012705.
George Tzamaras
Belle Woods

January 27, 2020

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) expressed disappointment and concern at the 5-4 Supreme Court decision to stay the current nationwide injunction of the “public charge” rule. The administration can now, temporarily at least, implement the Public Charge Final Rule while the underlying litigation continues.

AILA Director of Federal Litigation Jesse Bless stated, “As soon as the rule is implemented, AILA expects a rapid and glaring increase in the number of immigrants deemed inadmissible and thus ineligible for various immigration benefits, including applicants for lawful permanent residence (known as ‘green cards’) due to the use of certain government services, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Medicaid, which their family members are legally entitled to claim. With limited exceptions, the final rule allows USCIS to deny admission to a foreign national who has received or is likely to receive certain public benefits for more than 12 months within any 36-month period. This policy contravenes Congressional intent and provides the latest attempt to construct an invisible wall blocking the pre-existing rights for legal immigrants. The rule will undoubtedly result in the separation of tens of thousands of families seeking to reunite in the United States.

“The one exception is Illinois, where the litigation, led by Cook County and the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, led to a state-specific injunction. There, the district court enjoined the public charge rule within Illinois and the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has so far rejected the government’s requests for a stay of the injunction. Since the administration did not file for a stay of the 7th Circuit’s order with the Supreme Court, the rule is still enjoined in Illinois for now.”

For further information, go to AILA’s Featured Issue page on public charge.