Policy Updates: Public Charge
The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) “public charge” regulation penalizes immigrant survivors of violence and their families if they use crucial public benefits like nutrition and housing assistance to escape and recover from abuse. The published rule, which was intended to take effect on October 15, 2019, was blocked by three nationwide preliminary injunctions. However, on January 27, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court lifted the last of the three injunctions. This means that DHS’s public charge rule can take effect nationwide – except in Illinois where it is still blocked by a statewide injunction – while multiple lawsuits make their way through the appellate courts.
USCIS has announced that it will implement the public charge rule to applications and petitions submitted on or after February 24, 2020.
Although this turn of events is disappointing,
litigation to put a stop to the public charge rule is still on-going in several appellate courts
. The Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence (API-GBV) and other advocates from across the U.S. are filing amicus briefs to demonstrate that the public charge rule will undermine efforts by survivors of domestic and sexual violence to secure essential services that help them to escape abuse and rebuild their lives. See the amicus briefs in the case of Washington, et al. v. DHS
and case of Casa de Maryland, Inc., et al. v. Trump