Judge Blocks ‘Public Charge' Immigration Rule from Going Into Effect on Oct. 15

U.S. District Court Judge Daniels issued a nationwide injunction delaying implementation of the Public Charge Rule

African Services Committee has won an encouraging victory in an ongoing critical battle! U.S. District Court Judge George Daniels has issued a nationwide injunction delaying implementation of the Public Charge rule. This means that the Rule will not take effect on Tuesday, October 15, 2019.  Thank you to Legal Aid Society, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, for their representation at U.S. District Court. And we stand proud of this outcome with fellow plaintiffs Make the Road New York, Asian American Federation, Catholic Charities Community Services, and Catholic Legal Immigration Network (“CLINIC”).

African Services Committee is in our fourth decade of service to the African immigrant community in New York City.  We’ve fought hard on many fronts over these years and we are pleased that Judge Daniels sees the cruel and callous public charge rule revision for what it is: 

“Repugnant to the American Dream of the opportunity for prosperity and success through hard work and upward mobility" as stated in his opinion accompanying the nationwide injunction delaying implementation of the Public Charge rule on the Attorney General’s motion.

"This cruel and callous revision is yet another example of this administration’s racist mission to undermine the very ethos of this country as a safe haven for immigrants and their families,” said African Services Committee’s Director of Advocacy, Amanda Lugg. 

“This Administration has arbitrarily and capriciously discarded a century-old system that already requires a financial guarantee be provided against someone becoming a public charge, in favor of placing their thumbs on the scales to disqualify otherwise eligible people from obtaining lawful status in the U.S.” says Franco Torres, African Services Committee Supervising Attorney.

We will carry on with our efforts to educate and prepare the immigrant community. We want to underscore the importance of speaking with a licensed immigration attorney before individuals consider any changes to their use of public benefit programs,” said ASC Staff Attorney, Gabriel Guimaraes.  

Public charge only applies only to the following groups: (1) people in the U.S. who are in the process of applying for green card status through a family member (often a parent, child or spouse); (2) people who are sponsored by a small business owned by their family members; (3) people who already have a green card but who (a) have traveled abroad for more than 180 days or (b) have traveled abroad and have a criminal conviction, and are seeking to re-enter the U.S. 

Will the New Public Charge Rule go into effect on Tuesday, October 15, 2019? The Court issued a temporary order directing that the Rule will not take effect on October 15, 2019. This means that, for now, the rule governing public charge will remain the same as it has been for the last twenty years under the 1999 Field Guidance.  Under the 1999 Field Guidance, only receipt of cash assistance or government-funded long-term institutional care will make it likely that someone is found a public charge. No other benefits count.

Who Does the Court’s Ruling Apply to?
Anyone who is applying to obtain a green card through a family-member, regardless of where they live in the U.S. 

Who Should I Contact For More Information?

African Services Committee / Immigrant Community Law Center 212-222-3882 

You can also get information about public charge by calling ActionNYC at 800-354-0365, between 9am-5pm, M-F, or call 311 and say “ActionNYC.”  

You can also call The Legal Aid Society’s Immigration Helpline at 844-955-3425, between 9am-5pm, M-F.