Press Releases

Reps. Nadler and Lofgren Applaud Decision Granting a Nationwide Preliminary Injunction Barring Implementation of the Trump Administration's "Public Charge" Rule

Washington, DC, October 11, 2019

Today, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship Chair Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) released the following statement in response to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York decision, granting a preliminary injunction barring the Trump administration from implementing its recently finalized “public charge” rule:

“Today, the Southern District of New York upheld the rule of law by preventing the Trump Administration from implementing its recently finalized, so-called “public charge” rule.  As the court recognized in its order, the Trump Administration’s lawless rule would have upended over 130 years of legislative, judicial, and executive precedent and subverted decades of Congressional action expanding working families’ access to critical public health and nutritional programs.”

“In 1882, Congress defined the term “public charge” to refer to individuals who are primarily dependent on government benefits to survive, making this limited group of individuals inadmissible to the United States.  For over 130 years, all three branches of government have reaffirmed that traditional understanding: Congress has amended the grounds of inadmissibility but not changed the definition of public charge.  Executive branch officials in Republican and Democratic administrations have issued guidance to the same effect.  Federal courts, including the Supreme Court, have followed suit.  The Southern District of New York recognized the Trump Administration’s rule as both a historical aberration, and an unlawful attempt to change the long-established “public charge” definition by fiat.

“Had the rule gone into effect as planned on October 15, it would have harmed the public health of the nation. The Trump Administration will, no doubt, appeal this ruling. We fully expect the court of appeals to once again uphold the rule of law and halt this unlawful rule.”