Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund

September 10, 2019
On September 9, 2019, DREDF joined the American Civil Liberties Union, the Center for Public Representation, and fifteen other national disability rights organizations in filing an amicus brief denouncing the Trump Administration’s new “public charge” immigration rule as discriminatory against people with disabilities. The case, Washington v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (E.D. Wash.), which is one of a series of cases filed all around the country, seeks to invalidate the public charge rule on grounds that it violates the U.S. Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause and is contrary to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, as well as other federal immigration, health care, and administrative procedure laws. Our amicus brief highlights how the rule will have a devastating impact on immigrants with disabilities and their families by explicitly penalizing disabled immigrants for having a “medical condition” or receiving public benefits like Medicaid or food stamps. Additionally, for disabled citizens and non-citizens alike, it will create confusion and fear, reducing the use of critical benefits for which disabled people are entitled and resulting in negative health consequences.


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