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

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An unelected federal Judge from NY has decided the Trump administration's new "public charge" rule won't go into effect on Tuesday, Oct. 15th, as previously scheduled. Previously it applied to immigrants who would be primarily dependent on the government.

Judge George B. Daniels issued a preliminary nationwide injunction, stopping the rule from taking effect on October 15.

The White House budget office is also now reviewing a proposed Justice Department regulation that would allow the U.S.to deport immigrants deemed a "public charge" under the new guidelines of the USCIS rule that was blocked on Friday.

Pushed by Trump's leading aide on immigration, Stephen Miller, the rule was due to go into effect on Tuesday.

The lawsuit in NY is one of several legal challenges nationwide to one of Trump's most aggressive steps to cut legal immigration.

Confusion around the new policy has spurred many immigrants to drop benefits unnecessarily, even before the rule was set to take effect.

The Trump administration argues that the rule is only clarifying existing law, saying it believes immigrants who want to stay in the USA should be able to support themselves and not rely on government aid.

The judge who issued an injunction against the rule Friday wrote that it was "repugnant to the American Dream of the opportunity for prosperity and success through hard work and upward mobility".

Lawyers for Trump did not immediately return a request for comment.

A 2018 study by the Migration Policy Institute found 69 percent of immigrants who had received legal permanent residence within the past five years had at least one negative factor against them under the administration's test, while just 39 percent had one of the heavily weighted positive factors: an income at or above 250 percent of the federal poverty level.

The judge's order was not final as he asked the parties to submit further filings to be considered over the next 15 days.

"The situation in the federal judiciary with respect to these nationwide injunctions, which have proliferated to an unprecedented degree, is intolerable". Immigrant advocates said this would disproportionately affect people from Latin American, African and Asian countries. Noting that the government counted English proficiency in its calculation of the likelihood of becoming a public charge, Daniels wrote that "It is simply offensive to content that English proficiency is a valid predictor of self-sufficiency".

The new rule would have made it possible to brand any immigrant with the potential to end up on public assistance as a burden, and consider that in deciding to issue green cards or visas. Titled "Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds", the rule sparked several legal challenges.

For decades, the US has asked most green card and visa petitioners to prove they won't be a "public charge" - or an economic burden - on the country.

An estimated 15% to 35% of California families eligible for social welfare will withdraw from programs out of fear of the immigration consequences, according to the California Immigrant Policy Center, an immigrant-rights organization.

California Governor Gavin Newsom and Attorney General Xavier Becerra, left, announced in August that California had joined a lawsuit against the "public charge" regulation rolled out by the Trump administration.

On Thursday, the State Department revealed its own rule on ineligibility for visa applicants, to bring its standards in line with the DHS rule.

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