Trump Administration Asks for Illinois Injunction Against the Public Charge Rule be Lifted
February 13, 2020 Today the Trump administration 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,” which affects their eligibility for a visa, change of status, or a green card. See info about the Public Charge Rule. A couple weeks ago the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to lift a nationwide injunction imposed by a federal judge in New York while the case plays out in appeals court. The Trump administration asked the court to do the same for an injunction issued by the Illinois district court. The Administration argues, “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.” The request notes that, “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.” The new Public Charge Rule has been harshly criticized by immigration advocates. Many have compared it to past discrimination in the US immigration laws and policy. “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. The bigger issue though, is the need for total reform of the US immigration laws. The immigration laws are discriminatory by their very nature. The purpose of the immigration laws are to determine which groups get immigration benefits and which groups do not--they exist to discriminate. The US needs to stop trying to amend the INA or change immigration enforcement policy but instead, scrap the old laws and start over anew. If the US wants to restrict the free movement of people and ideas through regulation to control who crosses enters or exits the country then they should draft new laws with that clear intent.