New Executive Order takes first step towards undoing harmful public charge rule

October 15, 2019

STATEMENT: Legal Team Secures Court Decision Protecting Immigrant Families in Illinois

Legal Council and our partners at the Shriver Center and pro bono counsel have won a motion granting a preliminary injunction preventing the Trump Administration’s cruel public charge rule from taking effect today. This decision, and others in cases filed throughout the nation, immediately blocks the rule’s implementation while litigation continues.

The public charge rule would deny admission or change in immigration status to immigrants who use – or are judged likely to use – even small amounts of temporary, non-cash public programs such as Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and housing assistance. Implementation of the rule would cause Illinoisans to become sicker and to needlessly face housing instability, hunger, and increased poverty. By design, this rule disproportionately harms immigrants of color from low-income backgrounds, as well as people with disabilities or chronic illnesses, young children, and the elderly.

“It’s clear that this rule is meant to serve as a scare tactic, forcing thousands of Illinois families to go without the health care and services they need to reach their full potential and preventing low-income immigrants of color from remaining in our country,” said Carrie Chapman, senior director of policy and attorney at Legal Council, “Our client, the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, and our health center partners, have already seen the cruel chilling effects of this rule on families across Illinois who have disenrolled or chosen not to enroll in programs they are eligible for out of fear and confusion.”

The legal team expects the Administration to appeal this decision. As the evaluation of the public charge rule’s legality continues in court, Legal Council will continue to defend and protect immigrant families in Illinois and across the country.

Stay tuned for more updates on this lawsuit.

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Related reading: Legal Council files lawsuit against Trump Administration


Legal Council for Health Justice uses the power of the law to secure dignity, opportunity, and well-being for people facing barriers to reaching their full potential due to illness and disability. Our programs partner with health and hospital systems to train and support the care provider network, provide direct representation to referred patients, and conduct systemic advocacy topromote health equity among populations living with chronic conditions. For more information, visit

Legal Council is a leading agency in the Protecting Immigrant Families Illinois coalition.