Court Decision Vacates Harmful “Public Charge” Rule

As the nation holds its breath on this fraught Election Day, there is welcome news for children, and for the rule of law.

On November 2, Judge Gary Feinerman of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois ordered the Trump administration to vacate its “public charge” rule, saying the policy exceeded the authority of the executive branch. The rule, set in 2018 and allowed to move forward by the US Supreme Court in January, allows officials to deny green cards to immigrants who may at some point need public assistance, such as food stamps and housing vouchers.  Children in particular have been hit hard. According to new research, tens of thousands of parents have withdrawn from nutrition and health care programs because of the policy.

Sandy Santana, Executive Director of Children’s Rights issued the following statement:

“The public charge rule has had a chilling effect on immigrant families who are afraid to take advantage of safety net programs to which they are entitled. Denying families and innocent children the basic necessities of life is not only inhumane and unlawful, it’s bad public health policy. This welcome ruling comes as the coronavirus pandemic has driven more and more families into poverty due to massive unemployment and economic hardship. Judge Feinerman’s decision will ensure that immigrant families seek the preventive health they and their children need.”