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Judge Blocks Trump's New 'Public Charge' Rule For Immigrants, Calls Logic 'Repugnant'

12 October 2019

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.

The policy, at least for now, has been blocked from going into effect.

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

"People should be able to access vital and life-saving benefits without having to worry if they could remain with their families", co-executive director Javier Valdes said in a statement. "An objective judiciary will see that this rule lies squarely within long-held existing law".

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"Today's decision marks a major defeat for the Trump administration's unlawful tactic to impose a racist wealth test on our immigration system". 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.

Earlier this month, Trump issued a presidential proclamation that says immigrants will be barred from entering the country unless they are to be covered by health insurance within 30 days of entering or have enough financial resources to pay for any medical costs.

New York Attorney General Letitia James, who led the lawsuit, has said the rule specifically targets immigrants of color. If it had been implemented, it would have made it less likely that applicants who are low-income or less educated, or who might need public assistance be awarded such temporary legal status, because the government would consider them a potential burden for US taxpayers. Previously it applied to immigrants who would be primarily dependent on the government. "It was never ever meant to limit or narrow the definition of 'public charge'". If someone uses two benefits, that is counted as two months. Among the factors the officials would use is whether the applicant is already using public benefits like food stamps, housing subsidies and cash assistance. "The Trump Admin's attempt to circumvent Congress and unlawfully redefine our "public charge" laws in order to deny green cards to lawful, hardworking immigrants has been halted by the court in a win for human rights, basic decency and the rule of law". The original sonnet reads, "Give me your exhausted, your poor, / Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free".

"Once again, the courts have thwarted the Trump administration's attempts to enact rules that violate both our laws and our values, sending a loud and clear message that they can not rewrite our story to meet their agenda", James said in a statement.

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

But a slew of state and organizations sued, saying the definition of public charge discriminated against the poor and others.

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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Judge Blocks Trump's New 'Public Charge' Rule For Immigrants, Calls Logic 'Repugnant'