States Demand Supreme Court Order Coronavirus Welfare for Aliens

Press Releases

April 7, 2020

IRLI urges Court to avoid this political question

WASHINGTON – Today the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the U.S. Supreme Court urging it to keep in place its existing emergency stay, or suspension, of a lower court’s nationwide injunction against the Trump administration’s Public Charge Rule, which denies green cards to would-be immigrants likely to become public charges. States that had brought the case originally have asked the Court to lift its stay and reinstate the injunction because of effects of the coronavirus. (IRLI had also filed a friend-of-the-court brief in support of the government’s emergency application for the existing stay.)

In its brief, IRLI shows that the states’ standing to bring the action is still so lacking, and their view of the merits still so incorrect, that the Court should not even reach the confused equity arguments the states now press. IRLI also argues that the Court should deny the states’ request because the question of what taxpayer resources should be spent on aliens, rather than U.S. citizens, in this crisis is a political one, to be decided by the political branches, not the courts. At the minimum, IRLI shows that the states must exhaust their administrative remedy of petitioning the Department of Homeland Security for relief before they may be heard in court.

“This request to lift the stay is a transparent attempt by political opponents of the Public Charge Rule to use the coronavirus emergency as an excuse to reenact their preferred policies,” said Dale L. Wilcox, executive director and general counsel of IRLI. “But such policy questions should be decided by the people’s representatives, not the courts. We hope the Court sees the crippling legal problems with this request, and leaves its prior suspension, which allows the Public Charge Rule to remain in effect, unchanged.”

The case is DHS v. New York, No. 19A785 (Supreme Court).

For additional information, contact:

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

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