The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued a decision on September 11, 2020, staying a preliminary injunction granted by a district court and effectively allowing U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to move forward, if it wishes, with requiring use of the new USCIS public charge Form I-944, Declaration of Self-Sufficiency.

The Second Circuit explained that the case involves a challenge to the implementation of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) public charge rule, which introduced a new framework for determining the admissibility of noncitizens to the United States, expanding the meaning of the “public charge” ground of inadmissibility to include significantly more people than would have been found inadmissible previously.

The Second Circuit said it doubted that the district court had jurisdiction to issue the preliminary injunction while the Second Circuit was considering an appeal from a prior, virtually identical preliminary injunction. Accordingly, the Second Circuit stayed the preliminary injunction pending further order by the panel charged with deciding its merits.

The I-944 was issued in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security’s public charge rule that took effect in February 2020 and was temporarily blocked in July by a federal district court. The Second Circuit had limited the injunction to New York, Connecticut, and Vermont in August. There remains a separate injunction against the Department of State’s implementation of the public charge rule.

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