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Public Charge

PUBLIC CHARGE UPDATE: As of February 24, 2020

On February 21, 2020, the U.S Supreme Court announced their decision to lift the statewide Illinois injunction. The Court’s decision means that the public charge rule will go into effect in Illinois Monday, February 24, 2020. There are still various lawsuits pending, and this decision could be overturned in the future.

This expanded public charge rule will only apply to applications and petitions submitted on or after February 24, 2020.

Please contact an immigration lawyer or immigration specialist if you believe that this rule will affect you before dis-enrolling from public benefits.


On January 8, 2020, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals denied the Trump Administration’s motion to temporarily lift the New York District Court’s injunction of the public charge regulation while the appeal advances. A nationwide preliminary injunction is was still in place at the time, and DHS’s public charge rule was still blocked from taking effect.

In addition, the 7th Circuit also denied the federal government’s request to stay the Illinois-only preliminary injunction, but the 9th and 4th Circuits both granted the Trump Administration’s request to stay the nationwide preliminary injunctions. 

In December 2019, the 4th and 9th circuit court of appeals lifted preliminary injunctions to the new public charge rule. 

Second appeals court backs lifting injunction on Trump 'public charge' rule

Federal courts in New York, California and Washington announced on Friday October 11, 2019 that the public charge rule implementation is temporarily blocked while litigation is decided. View an updated public charge fact sheet here

Federal Judge in Chicago Blocks Change to Public Charge Rule

The DHS’s final public charge rule was officially published on August 13, 2019. View the PIF-IL Aug. 15th press conference here to hear from elected officials, community leaders and PIF-IL member organizations about the ruling and the steps going forward. 


Have questions about the "Public Charge" click here for the Protecting Immigrant Families FAQ page

For fact sheets, research, partner resources, community education resources, state-specific materials, webinars, and more, click here.

Watch the PIF-IL Facebook Live Press Conference on Oct 10, 2018, the day the DHS public charge was filed into the federal registry. 

Things to remember:

The Public Charge is a proposal, NOT a Law.

DHS Public Charge Comment Period

Earlier this year, over 266,000 comments, and counting, were submitted in the federal register in response to the proposed changes to the Public Charge inadmissibility bar, changes that would affect millions of families but take particular aim at immigrants seeking permanent residency in the United States.

The comments submitted are overwhelmingly in opposition to the proposed changes.

The Protecting Immigrant Families (PIF) coalition, of which the Latino Policy Forum is a part of, had a goal of encouraging 100,000 comments nationally, and we more than doubled that. Included in the numerous comments in opposition to the harmful rule, are several state and local official comments, including the City of Chicago and Cook County.

Our national PIF partners are currently combing through all of the submitted comments to identify evidence for future litigation in opposition to the rule change. At this point in the administrative process, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) should be reading through each comment and preparing its response.

Meanwhile, Protecting Immigrant Families- Illinois is gearing up to address the confusion and implementation issues this cruel rule change will generate if and when it is finalized.

Please remember that nothing has changed until the rule is finalized and even then, implementation will not be for another 60 days after the date it is finalized.

The proposed Public Charge test has spread fear and confusion among Americans. The proposal has already had devastating consequences as many families had taken it upon themselves to disenroll from crucial public services out of fear of endangering their chances of gaining legal permanent residency.

For more information, contact pifillinois@povertylaw.org