Judge blocks Trump plan to bar more immigrants who get federal assistance

Trump’s Immigrant Wealth Test Blocked Called ‘Repugnant’ Policy

Public charge rule blocked: Judge prevents Trump administration from enforcing tough green card and visa requirements

A United States federal judge in NY on Friday temporarily blocked a Trump administration rule that would deny permanent residency to certain aspiring immigrants deemed likely to require government assistance in the future.

In August, the states of New York, Vermont, Connecticut, and New York City filed a lawsuit against DHS to block the public charge rule, arguing that it would harm residents by increasing food insecurity and restricting access to housing and healthcare. Judges have indicated a willingness to issue rulings before the scheduled start date.

"Under the new more expansive definition, immigrants aren't supposed to use public benefits like Medicaid, public housing assistance, or food stamps for more than 12 months over a 36-month period", Bloomberg adds.

Nearly simultaneously, a federal judge in California also blocked the policy from taking effect, but that order was more geographically limited to states involved in the case: California, Oregon, Maine, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia. Hundreds of thousands more could have been affected if they avoided public benefits because they feared it would disqualify them from obtaining legal status, according to immigration advocates.

Several lawsuits challenging the rule are now underway across the nation, and the nationwide injunction will delay the enforcement of the regulation while those legal efforts are in process.

Make the Road New York was among the advocacy groups which, along with several states and cities, filed almost a dozen lawsuits challenging the rule after it was introduced previous year.

Trump was elected with a clear mandate to curtail immigration, especially immigration disadvantageous to the USA taxpayer.

"The Rule is simply a recent company policy of exclusion in quest of a justification", Daniels wrote. They are a blow to one of Trump's most aggressive measures yet to cut legal immigration and make it based more on employment skills than family ties.

Ken Cuccinelli, acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, expressed confidence that the administration would eventually prevail and framed the policy as a legal attempt to ensure that those who settle in the United States can support themselves financially. Previously it applied to immigrants who would be primarily dependent on the government. "Immigration officials will consider an immigrant's age, health, education, and wealth to see if they are at risk of becoming a 'public charge'". Under the new rule, authorities could take factors such as family size and credit score into account when determining whether someone is "likely" to become a public charge.

And, writing Friday, Daniels emphasized that the government was "afforded numerous opportunities" to articulate a rationale for why it defined "public charge" the way it did. The original sonnet reads, "Give me your exhausted, your poor, / Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free". Under that new rule, asylum seekers must claim asylum in one of the first countries they enter.

The ruling follows a suit brought by California, Maine, Oregon, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia.

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