La Clínica de la Raza v. Trump (N. District of CA); State of California v. Dept. of Homeland Security (N. District of CA); State of New York v. Dept. of Homeland Security (S. District of NY); Make the Road New York v. Cuccinelli (S. District of NY) (2019)


At issue in these cases are the Department of Homeland Security’s Regulation (the “Regulation”) which significantly expands the meaning and application of the term “public charge.” A person determined by the government to be a “public charge” may be denied admission into the U.S. or denied lawful permanent resident status. While the term “public charge” has always meant someone who is primarily dependent on the government, the Regulation adds to the number of public assistance programs that may be considered in making this determination and now includes supplemental health care, nutrition and housing assistance and is expected to result in the exclusion of a vast number of immigrants. Several lawsuits challenging the Regulation have been filed around the country and ADL signed onto amici briefs in cases before district courts in California, New York and Washington. The briefs discuss the historical background of the “public charge” rule and contend that the Regulation disproportionately impacts specific immigrant populations such as immigrant communities of color and is motivated at least in part by racial animus.