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Covid Welfare Case Back in Court

IRLI shows political issue should not be decided by a judge

WASHINGTON—Last night, the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) filed a friend-of-the-court brief in a Manhattan federal district court arguing that a consortium of states led by the State of New York should fail in their latest bid to block the Trump administration’s Public Charge Rule. The rule denies green cards to aliens likely to become dependent on public assistance.

Earlier in the case, the Supreme Court had stayed, or suspended, an injunction against the Public Charge Rule issued by the 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 the present motion for a new preliminary injunction. In its brief, IRLI shows that their case has no likelihood of being successful, and thus a preliminary injunction should not issue. Not only do these states lack standing to bring their challenge, and not only is the Public Charge Rule a perfectly lawful reflection of congressional intent, but the covid considerations the plaintiffs rely on raise political questions that are not properly before a court.

“Whether to spend taxpayer dollars on public assistance for Americans during these difficult economic times, or whether to give permanent residence to aliens likely to receive that assistance, too, is an issue to be decided by the people through their elected representatives,” said Dale L. Wilcox, executive director and general counsel of IRLI. “It should not be decided by a court. We hope the district court sees all the glaring legal problems with this motion, and rejects it.”

 The case is State of New York v. DHS, No. 19 Civ. 07777 (S.D.N.Y.).


For additional information, contact:

Brian Lonergan • 202-232-5590 • blonergan@irli.org

IRLI is a supporting organization of the Federation for American Immigration Reform.

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