New York Lawsuit Successfully Delays ‘Public Charge’ from Taking Effect

Nationwide injunction on the ‘Public Charge’ rule will delay original effective date of Oct. 15

NEW YORK, NY – Today, NY Attorney General James secured a preliminary injunction to block the effective date of Trump’s changes to the public charge rule. Attorneys argued the rule is vague and uses racist criteria to prevent low-income immigrants from obtaining visas and lawful permanent resident status. Nine lawsuits across five states were also filed against the public charge rule change. 

In response,  Steve Choi, Executive Director at the New York Immigration Coalition, said: 

"Today marks an important first step on the path to fairness and humanity in our immigration system, thanks to Attorney General James. The Trump Administration thought they could tell us who should and should not be a New Yorker. Today, we sent the President a clear message: New York belongs to everyone—whether you are rich or poor, whether you are white or a person of color. This is our New York and we will continue to fight to protect our immigrant families from going hungry and will make sure they can access the programs they need to ensure the well-being of their families, while pursuing legal changes to their immigration status.” 


On Aug. 14, 2019, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published changes to the public charge rule in the Federal Register. Due to the successful injunction, the rule changes are NOT currently in effect. New Yorkers who have questions about the public charge rule should contact the Office for New Americans hotline at 1-800-566-7636 to receive more information.

Cash benefits and long-term medical care are currently the only public benefits considered as part of a person’s “public charge” determination. The Trump Administration is attempting to add federally-funded Medicaid, SNAP and subsidized housing assistance to the public benefits that can be considered. Due to the injunction, these programs CANNOT be considered, while the rule changes are reviewed by the courts. Only the current public charge rules can be applied in immigrants’ applications for green cards. We encourage any concerned individual to consult an immigration or benefits expert before foregoing any programs. New Yorkers who have questions about the new rule can contact the Office for New Americans hotline at 1-800-566-7636 to receive more information and be connected to resources.

Need legal assistance?

Call the NYS Immigration Hotline at 1-800-566-7636 or view our directory of service providers here