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Attorney General William Tong

07/30/2020

Court Blocks Trump Public Charge Rule Following Motion by CT and Partner States

(Hartford, CT) – Attorney General William Tong released a statement today after the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York blocked the Trump Administration’s Public Charge Rule following a motion by Connecticut and partner states.

“This decision is a massive win for public health nationwide. Doctors and aid groups on the front lines of this crisis are already reporting tragic stories of families in Connecticut forgoing medical care and life-saving assistance due to immigration fears. Severe damage has already been done. We have real hurdles ahead to not only continue to fight this cruel rule in court, but to ensure every person feels safe accessing the care and assistance they need during this pandemic,” said Attorney General Tong.

In April, Connecticut, New York, Vermont and New York City asked the U.S. Supreme Court to block implementation of the Public Charge Rule in light of the COVID-19 public health crisis. After the Supreme Court ruled that the plaintiffs could seek relief from the district court, the coalition filed a new motion seeking a preliminary injunction with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. That injunction was granted on Wednesday. The Public Charge Rule went into effect nationwide in February.

In granting the injunction, Judge George B. Daniels affirmed that in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is critical for all residents to seek health care. The judge found that the coalition had shown that “the Rule deters immigrants from seeking testing and treatment for COVID-19… As a direct result of the Rule, immigrants are forced to make an impossible choice between jeopardizing public health and personal safety and their immigration status.”

The Public Charge rule allows the federal government to deny green cards and visa renewals to immigrants who are deemed likely to use government assistance programs, including health care programs like Medicaid. The rule is a scheme to deter legal immigrants and their families from seeking access to the medical care, healthy food and safe housing they are lawfully eligible to receive. Judge Daniels has already found that the Coalition is likely to succeed in its argument that the Rule is illegal and violates the federal Administrative Procedure Act.

Nearly 200,000 Connecticut residents had been in danger of losing access to services like food assistance, Medicaid, and Section 8 housing vouchers.

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Media Contact:

Elizabeth Benton
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