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Source and Scope of Public Health Legal Powers

State of New York, et al. v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security


State of New York, et al. v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, Oct. 11, 2019): The federal district court ordered a nationwide preliminary injunction blocking the implementation of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) revised public charge rule, previously set to go into effect on October 15, 2019. New York, Connecticut, and Vermont, as well as New York City, sued DHS and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for declaratory and injunctive relief challenging revisions to the public charge rule. The revised rule would redefine “public charge” and establish new criteria for determining whether a noncitizen applying for admission into the U.S. or for adjustment of status is ineligible because he or she is likely to become a public charge. Granting the injunction, the court ruled the plaintiffs had demonstrated a “likelihood of success on the merits” of their claims, namely that the revised rule exceeds DHS’s statutory authority, is arbitrary and capricious, constitutes an abuse of discretion, and may have a chilling effect on enrollment in benefits programs, which would harm the plaintiffs’ proprietary interests as operators of hospitals and health care systems. Read the decision here.

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