Sidley secured a victory on behalf of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR), pro bono, in the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit on June 10, 2020. ICIRR, along with Cook County, had sued the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for its new interpretation of the “public charge” rule — narrowly construing a provision in the Immigration and Nationality Act to prevent immigrants who obtain even a de minimis amount of public assistance from entering the United States or adjusting their immigration status.
Affirming the preliminary injunction obtained from the Northern District of Illinois, the Seventh Circuit held that the injunction was appropriate both because DHS’s public charge rule is an unreasonable interpretation of the statute and, separately, because it is arbitrary and capricious. Sidley partner Tacy Flint argued the case before the Seventh Circuit in February.
This victory comes on the heels of another victory in the district court two weeks prior, in which the court ruled that ICIRR has plausibly alleged that the public charge rule violates the Equal Protection Clause.
These victories are the result of an enormous effort by an outstanding Sidley team, including Tacy Flint, Marlow Svatek, Andy Rodheim, Lee Farnsworth, Willy Cowles, Andrew Watkins and David Gordon in Chicago, and Yvette Ostolaza and Rob Velevis in Dallas, as well as a team outside of Sidley, including lawyers at the Shriver Center on Poverty Law, Legal Council for Health Justice, Cook County and Goldberg Kohn.