IMMIGRANT RIGHTS GROUPS TO SUPREME COURT: HALT “PUBLIC CHARGE” RULE DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC

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[Immigration\"Public Charge Rule"]
Make The Road Litigation team: “As long as the Public Charge Rule remains in effect, immigrants and their families, including those who are U.S. citizens, will be deterred from seeking testing or treatment for COVID-19."
Photo: Make The Road New York

Make the Road New York, and other immigrant rights groups, are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to halt the "Public Charge" immigration rule because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

New York State Attorney General Letitia James has filed a motion on behalf of three states and New York City in the U.S. Supreme Court to temporarily lift or modify its stay to stop implementation of the Public Charge Rule until the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Plaintiffs in Make the Road New York v. Cuccinelli, the companion lawsuit by non-profit legal and advocacy organizations to stop the Rule from going into effect, submitted declarations in support of the Attorney General’s motion. Plaintiffs Make the Road New York and Catholic Charities Community Services–NY submitted declarations, along with others from immigrant-serving advocacy groups, conveying the devastating impact of the Rule on immigrant communities as it sows fear and confusion and deters people from accessing life-saving services and benefits during the COVID-19 public health crisis.

The Make the Road New York litigation team (The Legal Aid Society, Center for Constitutional Rights, and the law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP) and lead plaintiff (Make the Road New York) issued the following statement:

“Amid this global health crisis, it is critical that everyone, regardless of immigration status, have full access to healthcare and government benefits and services for which they are eligible. By making people afraid to access healthcare and food support, the Public Charge Rule is increasing the suffering of immigrant communities, even as their members, many of whom are essential workers, are among the hardest hit by the illness.

“As long as the Public Charge Rule remains in effect, immigrants and their families, including those who are U.S. citizens, will be deterred from seeking testing or treatment for COVID-19 and other types of healthcare and vital benefits, like food assistance. This impedes efforts to thwart the spread of the coronavirus and puts immigrants and non-immigrants alike at risk.

“We commend Attorney General James for filing this motion and hope that the Court considers how the state of the nation has radically changed since it issued its stay order just a few months ago. Today, it is critical that the Court’s order be modified to protect lives and ease suffering across the nation.”

Make the Road New York v. Cuccinelli was filed on behalf of Make the Road New York, African Services Committee, Asian American Federation, Catholic Charities Community Services-NY, and Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC).

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