ACLPI and the William E. Morris Institute for Justice filed a lawsuit against the City of Phoenix claiming the city’s emergency housing program funded with the federal CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund violated federal law because it excluded certain immigrants. A federal judge ruled in favor of the plaintiffs and, according to the court order, immigrants who were previously excluded from the program can now receive funding.
The city allocated $25 million to prevent evictions and homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic, providing rental, mortgage and utility assistance to financially impacted individuals. However, the City restricted immigrant eligibility to “qualified” immigrants, as defined in 1996’s Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act. This limiting definition left out many groups, including DACA recipients, asylum applicants, U-Visa holders and others. The plaintiffs successfully argued the program violated the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution.
Many community groups are accepting applications for the program until Dec. 30.
This is the latest win in the Center’s long history of ensuring civil rights are upheld for everyone, including our society’s most vulnerable groups.