Reversal of ‘public charge’ injunction did not address core legal arguments still to be decided

SILVER SPRING, Maryland — The Supreme Court’s Jan. 27 order allowing the federal government to enact new standards for deciding when immigration benefit applicants might constitute a “public charge” is far from the last word on whether the rule is legal.

The 5-4 order reversed the only remaining nationwide injunction blocking implementation of the new rule, while legal challenges continue in several federal courts. A separate injunction still blocks the rule from being implemented in Illinois.

“While we are obviously disappointed that the Supreme Court has allowed the public charge rule to be implemented while the court challenges proceed, we remain hopeful that the rule will ultimately be declared illegal,” said Bradley Jenkins, CLINIC’s federal litigation attorney. “Indeed, the justices who commented did not say anything one way or another about whether they thought the public charge rule violates the law.”

CLINIC is a plaintiff in one of two companion cases being heard in a New York District Court that challenge the new public charge rules as illegal. The case, Make the Road New York vs. McAleenanalso includes as plaintiffs African Services Committee, Asian American Federation and Catholic Charities Community Services of the Archdiocese of New York.