Pelosi Statement on Amicus Brief in Department of Homeland Security v. State of New York

January 22, 2020
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued this statement as the U.S. House of Representatives filed an amicus brief today with the U.S. Supreme Court arguing for a denial of the Administration’s request for a stay of the District Court for the Southern District of New York decision enjoining the Administration’s rule dramatically limiting admissibility and green cards for immigrants based on potential future participation in in-kind government initiatives including for food, health and housing:

“The Trump Administration’s latest attempt to request a Supreme Court stay to buy more time to advance its unlawful policies is a shameful abuse of the judicial system that should be rejected.  As the House brief states, ‘In seeking an extraordinary stay from this Court, DHS seeks to upend the long-established status quo, with harmful repercussions for immigrant communities and the public alike…. Denying a stay would merely preserve the status quo while the Court of Appeals proceeds to resolve this case on an expedited timeline.’

“As the District Court has ruled and as the House brief argues, the Administration’s staggering distortion of the century-old definition of ‘public charge’ directly contravenes the will of Congress, which has repeatedly refused to authorize the Administration’s assault on immigrant’s rights and well-being: ‘DHS may not substitute its own policy judgment for Congress’s in this way.’ 

“At the same time, the Administration’s rule opens the door to unfettered and arbitrary discrimination, vast uncertainty and heightened confusion in our immigration and public assistance systems and therefore ‘would be impossible to apply rationally or fairly.’  Under the Administration’s rule, any immigrant could conceivably be denied critical, life-saving benefits, based simply on language skills or perceived likelihood to one day participate in an assistance initiatives.  This illegal and unworkable rule, which the Administration itself has admitted will harm family stability, increase poverty and undermine public health, is designed solely to punish immigrant communities for who they are.

“The District Court’s decision should be respected as this illegal and immoral rule is challenged in the courts, where it will be defeated.”