US Supreme Court Lifts Injunction against Administration’s Public Charge rule, Clearing Way for Implementation.

In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court has stayed (removed, for the time being) the injunction put in place by several district courts on October 11, 2019, which had prevented the administration and USCIS from implementing the public charge rule on October 15, 2019 as originally planned.


Once implemented, the new rule will expand considerations of who will be considered subject to the “public charge ground of inadmissibility” – the grand for disqualifying someone from admission to the US and the basis that they might require public assistance – beyond simply whether they are likely to rely on certain cash benefits as under the old rule. The new rule would define public charge as someone who relies on cash as well as non-cash benefits (such as housing or food assistance, not currently considered) for more than 12 months in a three-year period.

The rule also allows immigrants to be declared a “public charge” and denied permanent residence even if they are employed.

It remains to be seen at this point how USCIS will now implement the ban, though it seems reasonable to expect that the agency will simply re-release the forms is had placed on its web site  just before the original October 15, 2019 planned implementation date and begin to require them as of a fixed future date.


In Illinois, a separate injunction remains in place and unaddressed by the Supreme Court ruling here.  Presumably USCIS will still need to comply, avoiding implementation in the State of Illinois.