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Supreme Court Lifts Final Public Charge Injunction; Policy Takes Effect Monday, Feb. 24

February 22, 2020

In a 5-4 ruling late Friday, the Supreme Court lifted the “public charge” injunction allowing the US Department of Homeland Security to move forward with the highly contested wealth test in all 50 states. The last remaining injunction prevented implementation in Illinois.

As previously reported in the Dispatch and the Immigration Nerds podcast, the DHS proposal makes it more difficult for immigrants who rely on, or who would rely on, public assistance to enter or gain legal status in the United States.

The former criteria for determining whether an immigrant would become a “public charge” is whether they would be likely to require cash assistance. Under the new rule, the criteria would expand to include non-cash assistance such as housing or food assistance received for more than 12 months within a 3-year span.

The policy is scheduled to take effect on Monday, February 24.