Court Battles

Trump administration requests another Supreme Court stay on injunction against public charge rule

Greg Nash

The Trump administration on Thursday requested a stay on a district court injunction against its “public charge” rule change.

The rule expands the kinds of immigrants who can be deemed a “public charge” for receiving government assistance, making it harder for them to gain legal status.

The highest court had previously voted 5-4 in January to lift a nationwide injunction imposed by a federal judge in New York while the case plays out in appeals court. In the Thursday request from Solicitor General Noel Francisco, the administration asked the court to do the same for an injunction imposed by an Illinois district court.

“Although the injunction here is not nationwide, the Court stayed the New York injunctions in their entirety, thus necessarily determining that there was a fair prospect the Court would agree with the government not just that a nationwide injunction was inconsistent with Article III and equitable principles, but also that challenges to the rule will be unsuccessful and that even a more limited injunction would impose irreparable harm on the government,” Francisco wrote.

“That determination controls this case,” the request adds, saying “each of the stay factors is met here, for precisely the same reasons as in New York. The government therefore respectfully requests a stay of the district court’s injunction of the Rule pending appeal and any further proceedings in this Court.”

Critics of the rule have compared it to early 20th century anti-immigration laws, saying that it could essentially bar disabled people from becoming citizens.

“If you look at the history of the public charge rule there is a very long, dark history of discriminating against immigrants with disabilities,” Alison Barkoff, director of advocacy at the Center for Public Representation, which joined a separate legal challenge to the rule, told The Hill in September, citing early 20th century laws that “literally … said we will keep out quote-unquote ‘defective people.’ ”


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