For Now, Supreme Court Allows USCIS to Use “Public Charge” Rules

In earlier posts, we discussed the Trump Administration’s proposed new rule about denying permanent resident status to applicants who are considered likely to become a “public charge.”

That new rule was set to take effect on October 15, 2019, but courts issued orders blocking the implementation of the new rule while the cases challenging it were processed.

But on January 27, 2020, by a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court lifted the injunction.  This means that USCIS may begin using the new rule while it is still being challenged in the courts.  There is one exception:  USCIS may not implement the new rule for green-card applicants in Illinois, because of an ongoing legal challenge in that state.

For now, we don’t know exactly if or how USCIS will begin to implement the new rule.  And it’s important to remember that lawsuits challenging the new rule are still moving forward.  The Supreme Court’s decision on January 27, 2020 simply states that USCIS may use the new rule (except in Illinois) while the lawsuits are pending.

Posted in Federal Court Litigation, Public Charge.