N.Y. Judge Blocks Trump Administration's Public Charge Rule

N.Y. Judge Blocks Trump Administration's Public Charge Rule

A US federal judge in NY on Friday temporarily blocked a Trump administration rule that would deny residency to aspiring immigrants deemed likely to require government assistance, calling it "repugnant to the American Dream".

"Defendants do not articulate why they are changing the public charge definition, why this new definition is needed now, or why the definition set forth in the rule - which has absolutely no support in the history of USA immigration law - is reasonable", Judge Daniels wrote.

By the end of the day, two other federal judges issued rulings against the Trump administration.

U.S. District Judge George Daniels took issue with that definition in his order Friday.

The ruling also stated the lawsuit was likely to succeed when held up against the Administrative Procedure Act and U.S. Constitution.

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 a year ago. Advocates say the rule changes are discriminatory because they would deny legal residency and visas to immigrants who don't have money.

The Trump administration's proposal, however, would substantially expand this centuries-old term by broadening the type and amount of benefits that count against immigrants seeking to stay or move to the U.S.

In New York, Judge Daniels called the rule a "policy of exclusion in search of a justification".

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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. 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. Previously it applied to immigrants who would be primarily dependent on the government.

The proclamation, published by the White House on October 4, requested that those seeking USA immigrant visas be covered by "approved health insurance" within 30 days of entry into the country, or possess "the financial resources to pay for reasonably foreseeable medical costs".

Daniels' ruling in New York was in a lawsuit filed by the states of New York, Connecticut and Vermont.

Under the new rules, the Department of Homeland Security has redefined a public charge as someone who is "more likely than not" to receive public benefits for more than 12 months within a 36-month period.

The new regulation would take an expanded look at public services, to include Medicaid and food stamps, that would be used to test whether an immigrant would required taxpayer-funded assistance.

Under the new rule, immigration officials would consider a number of factors when deciding whether someone should be denied a green card because they might become a public charge, or burden, on society.

U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton in Oakland, California, ruled in favor of California, Maine, Oregon, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia.

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