Victory: Appellate Court Restarts Public Charge Rule

Press Releases

September 15, 2020

Court agrees with IRLI’s brief

WASHINGTON—Last Friday, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals stayed, or suspended, a lower-court injunction against the Trump administration’s Public Charge Rule, which denies green cards to aliens likely to become dependent on public assistance. The Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) had filed a friend-of-the-court brief urging just that result.

Earlier in the case, the Supreme Court had stayed, or suspended, an injunction against the Public Charge Rule issued by a Manhattan federal district court, allowing the rule to remain in effect on appeal. Then the plaintiffs petitioned the Supreme Court to get that stay lifted, on the ground that coronavirus outbreaks changed the relevant circumstances. IRLI had filed a brief in each of these proceedings before the Court. 

After the Court rejected their petition, the plaintiffs went back down to the district court and filed a motion for a new preliminary injunction, which was granted. In its brief arguing for a stay, IRLI had showed that the plaintiffs lack standing because they did not exhaust their administrative remedies, and also that the aliens the plaintiffs purport to assist will be denied green cards if they receive public assistance now and the Supreme Court later upholds the Public Charge Rule on appeal. The Second Circuit agreed that the injunction should be stayed pending appeal.

“From colonial times onwards, America has insisted that settlers and immigrants be self-sufficient, not taxpayer-dependent,” said Dale L. Wilcox, executive director and general counsel of IRLI. “This rule has served our nation well, but in recent decades it hasn’t been enforced, to the point where immigrant households are now more dependent on public assistance than native households. We applaud the administration for returning us to a time-tested policy that requires hardy self-reliance in our immigrants, and believe that policy eventually will be upheld by the Supreme Court.”

The case is State of New York v. DHS, No. 20-2537 (Second Circuit).

For additional information, contact: Brian Lonergan • 202-232-5590 • [email protected]

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