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U.S. Supreme Court Lifts Injunction on “Public Charge” Rule

Posted Feb 5, 2020

On January 27, in a 5-4 vote in the case of Department of Homeland Security v. New York , the U.S. Supreme Court granted the federal government’s request to lift a stay on implementing a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services rule preventing non-citizens from receiving a green card unless they can prove they will not be, or are not likely to be, a “public charge” (meaning they will not rely on public assistance). The rule had been blocked from enforcement by a nationwide injunction upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Justice Neil Gorsuch criticized the practice of issuing nationwide injunctions in a concurring opinion that Justice Clarence Thomas joined. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will implement the final rule beginning February 24, 2020 in all states except for Illinois, where it is still enjoined by a federal court. See ABA Journal, CNN, SCOTUSblog, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.