Rep. Adriano Espaillat, Tri-Caucus Members Oppose Implementation of Public Charge Rule

February 20, 2020
Press Release
The Congressional Tri-Caucus filed amicus briefs opposing the public charge rule in multiple circuit courts

Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to allow the Trump Administration’s Public Charge rule to go into effect while the merits of the case continue to be argued in lower courts.

Last week, members of the Congressional Tri-Caucus – composed of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), and Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) – filed amicus briefs in the Second, Fourth, and Ninth circuit courts opposing the Trump Administration’s public charge rule. The Tri-Caucus filed the same brief in multiple cases at the district court level last year.

The amicus brief supports litigation against the public charge rule by arguing that the disparate impact of the rule on communities of color violates both the Equal Protection Clause and Administrative Procedure Act.

The amicus brief was led by Tri-Caucus leaders including CAPAC Chair Judy Chu, CHC Whip Adriano Espaillat, CBC Immigration Task Force Chair Yvette D. Clarke, CHC Chair Joaquin Castro, CBC Chair Karen Bass, CAPAC Immigration Task Force Chair Pramila Jayapal, and CAPAC Healthcare Task Force Chair Barbara Lee.

The members released the following joint-statement on behalf of the Congressional Tri-Caucus:

“We are extremely dismayed by the Supreme Court’s decision to allow the Trump Administration’s harmful public charge rule to go in effect. This decision needlessly jeopardizes the wellbeing of immigrant families and will drastically alter our immigration system for the worse.

Our immigration system has long been built on the principle that immigrants from all walks of life make our country better.  And despite the false claims made to justify this public charge rule, the data shows that immigrants help grow the economy and use fewer government resources than native-born individuals. Regardless, the Trump Administration has spent the past three years creating an immigration system that is cruelly stacked against immigrants of color and the public charge rule is no exception.

In a clear violation of Congressional intent, the rule stretches the term “public charge” in the service of blatant discrimination against immigrants of color. 

This cruelty must end, and the Tri-Caucus will continue to push back against this rule as the Trump Administration moves forward with implementation.”

The full brief can be viewed here.

The Tri-Caucus Amicus Brief was filed in the following cases:

  1. Ninth Circuit:
    1. Case No. 19-17214, State of California v. United States Department of Homeland Security
    2. Case No. 19-17483, La Clínica de la Raza, et al v. Trump
  1. Second Circuit:
    1. Case No. 19-3591 New York, et al. v. United States Department of Homeland Security et al
    2. Case No. 19-3595 Make the Road, et al  v. Cucinelli et al
  1. Fourth Circuit: 
    1. Case No. 19-2222 Casa de Maryland, INC v. Donald Trump, et al

The below members of the Tri-Caucus signed on to the brief:

  1. Nanette Diaz Barragán
  2. Karen Bass
  3. Salud O. Carbajal
  4. André Carson
  5. Joaquin Castro
  6. Judy Chu
  7. Gilbert R. Cisneros, Jr.
  8. Katherine Clark
  9. Yvette D. Clarke
  10. Emanuel Cleaver, II
  11. J. Luis Correa
  12. TJ Cox
  13. Danny K. Davis
  14. Susan A. Davis
  15. Anna G. Eshoo
  16. Veronica Escobar
  17. Adriano Espaillat
  18. Ruben Gallego
  19. Jesús G. “Chuy” García
  20. Sylvia R. Garcia
  21. Al Green
  22. Raúl M. Grijalva
  23. Jimmy Gomez
  24. Deb Haaland
  25. Eleanor Holmes Norton
  26. Steven Horsford
  27. Pramila Jayapal
  28. Ro Khanna
  29. Raja Krishnamoorthi
  30. Barbara Lee
  31. John Lewis
  32. Ted W. Lieu
  33. Ben Ray Luján
  34. Alan Lowenthal
  35. Jerry McNerney
  36. Grace Meng
  37. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell
  38. Grace F. Napolitano
  39. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
  40. Ilhan Omar
  41. Lucille Roybal-Allard
  42. Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan
  43. Robert C. "Bobby" Scott
  44. Linda T. Sánchez
  45. José E. Serrano
  46. Albio Sires
  47. Jackie Speier
  48. Adam Smith
  49. Darren Soto
  50. Mark Takano
  51. Norma J. Torres
  52. Juan Vargas
  53. Filemon Vela
  54. Nydia M. Velázquez
  55. Bonnie Watson Coleman

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First elected to Congress in 2016, Rep. Adriano Espaillat is serving his second term in Congress where he serves as a member of the influential U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and the House Small Business Committee.  He serves as a Senior Whip of the House Democratic Caucus and is a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) where he also serves in a leadership role as CHC Whip. He is also chairman of the CHC Task Force for Transportation, Infrastructure and Housing. Rep. Espaillat’s Congressional District includes Harlem, East Harlem, northern Manhattan and the north-west Bronx.  To find out more about Rep. Espaillat, visit online at

Media inquiries: Candace Randle Person at