January 28, 2020
No family should have to make the choice between meeting their basic needs and being with their loved ones. We are saddened by the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling to temporarily block the nationwide injunction halting the federal government’s public charge rule from being implemented.
The Court’s decision means that the public charge rule can go into effect nationwide, except for here in Illinois where it remains blocked by an Illinois-only injunction. This cruel rule will punish people seeking permanent resident status in the United States, and also those seeking certain visas, if they use—or are deemed likely to use in the future—public supports to meet their family’s basic health, housing, and nutrition needs.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that the agency will only apply the Final Rule to applications and petitions submitted on or after February 24, 2020. However, this rule will NOT go into effect in Illinois, at least for now. Individuals residing in Illinois who are seeking an adjustment of status (green card) or renewal of certain temporary visas as of February 24 should be protected by the Illinois injunction. The government is now seeking to end the Illinois injunction so that the public charge rule applies nationwide, including in Illinois. The plaintiffs are opposing the government’s request.
This case is far from over. It is also important to remember that not all immigrant statuses are subject to the public charge rule and not all public benefits are included in the new public charge test. With our client Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, our co-counsel at Legal Council for Health Justice, and Sidley Austin LLP, and our co-plaintiff Cook County and its counsel, we will continue to bring our arguments to the courts to ensure that justice is secured for immigrants in Illinois and elsewhere. As a co-convener of the Protecting Immigrant Families — Illinois coalition, we are in this fight together to protect all immigrant families, regardless of their financial security, the color of their skin, or their country of origin.
This situation is still unfolding. We will post updates as it develops. For more information on public charge, visit the Protecting Immigrant Families – Illinois website.
Last updated on February 4, 2020 to reflect the date of the implementation of the Final Rule by USCIS.