Supreme Court to Review Trump Administration’s Public Charge Rule

The Supreme Court agreed on February 22 to hear an appeal of the recent Public Charge Rule preliminary injunction, evaluating the legality of the harmful rule (see Memo 08/19/2019). The Court agreed to hear an appeal filed by the previous administration after the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in DHS, et al. v. State of New York, et al and granted temporary injunctions against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of State (DOS) Public Charge Rules (see Memo, 08/03/2020). The hearing will likely not occur until the end of 2021.

The implementation of the Public Charge Rule resumed on January 22 after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit granted DHS a delay of the preliminary injunction order made on December 2 (see Memo, 12/07/2020). President Joe Biden signed on February 2 an Executive Order “Restoring Faith in Our Legal Immigration Systems and Strengthening Integration and Inclusion Efforts for New Americans,” directing agencies to develop strategies that promote integration, inclusion, and citizenship including (see Memo, 02/08)

The Departments of State, Justice, and Homeland Security are ordered to submit a report to the president within 60 days of the order, identifying appropriate agency actions to address concerns about the current public charge policy’s effect on the integrity of the nation’s immigration system and public health, along with recommended steps agencies can take to communicate current public charge policies and proposed changes to reduce fear and confusion among impacted communities. There have been no recent updates from the administration or the agencies on whether they will issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to begin rescinding the rule.

It is important to note that the Public Charge Rule will not apply to testing, screening, or treatment of communicable diseases including COVID-19. In addition, the rule does not restrict access to vaccines for children or adults to prevent vaccine-preventable diseases. Readers are encouraged to read the updated fact sheet “Public Charge: What Advocates Need to Know Now” for more information and key messages to share.

The preliminary injunction on the DOS Public Charge Rule remains in effect nationwide (see Memo, 08/03).

NLIHC will continue to inform readers of updates to the Public Charge Rule and the legal cases challenging the rule.

Read the “Executive Order on Restoring Faith in Our Legal Immigration Systems and Strengthening Integration and Inclusion Efforts for New Americans” at:

Read the Executive Order in the Federal Register at:

For a “Current State of Play” and more information on legal cases on the Public Charge Rule visit the American Immigration Lawyers Association website at:

Visit the Protecting Immigrant Families (PIF) campaign website for more information and resources on the Public Charge Rule at:

PIF’s Updated “Public Charge: What Advocates Need to Know Now” can be found at: