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ICIRR Condemns Supreme Court Public Charge Ruling

Fred Tsao

312-332-7360 ext. 213

Mon Jan 27 2020

Federal rule would radically shift immigration, thwart family unity and opportunity

CHICAGO (January 27, 2020) – The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights condemns the US Supreme Court’s decision to lift a lower court order that had blocked implementation of the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulations on public charge. The Supreme Court’s ruling allows the DHS regulations to go into effect throughout the United States except in Illinois, where a separate court order for now still blocks the rule from being implemented.

“By allowing these regulations to take effect, the Supreme Court is enabling this administration to scale up its efforts to scare immigrant families from getting the support that they need and are eligible for,” said Lawrence Benito, ICIRR’s chief executive officer. “The court is also allowing this administration to bar immigrants who are older or living with a disability or a chronic preexisting medical condition, or did not have good educational or work opportunities in their home country, that they can forget about getting onto a path toward citizenship.”

The public charge provisions of federal immigration laws allow the federal government to deny visas and green cards to individuals whom it believes will rely on government support for their livelihood. DHS issued a final version of new public charge regulations in August 2019 that would count medical, nutritional, and housing assistance programs toward public charge, and dramatically raises standards for who would be considered likely to become a public charge.

ICIRR has been working with national partners in the Protecting Immigrant Families campaign (led by National Immigration Law Center and Center for Law and Social Policy) and has co-convened the Protecting Immigrant Families Illinois (PIF-IL) table with the Shriver Center, Latino Policy Forum, and Legal Council for Health Justice. In October 2019, ICIRR and PIF-IL won the Illinois-only court order blocking DHS from implementing the new public charge regulations in our state.

“ICIRR will continue to fight the public charge regulations and other attacks on working families who want to reunite with relatives and pursue better economic opportunities,” Benito added.

More information regarding PIF-IL and public charge is available at and through ICIRR’s Family Support Hotline, 855-HELP-MY-FAMILY (855-435-7693).

The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights is a statewide coalition dedicated to promoting the rights of immigrants and refugees to full and equal participation in the civic, cultural, social, and political life of our diverse society. For more information, visit


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