Judge blocks green card denials for poorer immigrants
Oct 13 2019
In a statement, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said, "The federal court's decision to block the public charge rule is an important win for our country and sends a clear message that we will not these allow hateful policies imposed by the Trump administration to tear our country apart".
The Trump administration had proposed that immigrants be disqualified from getting legal USA residency if they were likely to become a burden on public welfare programs.
Judge George B. Daniels of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of NY on Friday issued a temporary nationwide injunction blocking the Trump administration from enforcing the policy, which was originally scheduled to take effect on October 15. Other US judges issued similar injunctions elsewhere yesterday, including the Eastern District of Washington and the Northern District of California.
The rule, finalised in August, vastly expanded who could be considered a possible "public charge" from someone who would be primarily dependent on the government to someone who might at some point need temporary government help such as food stamps, Medicaid or housing vouchers.
The rule laid out factors immigration officers should weigh, including household income and English proficiency.
He went on to claim that the definition has "no support in the history of US immigration law" and described the rule as "repugnant".
"An objective judiciary will see that this rule lies squarely within long-held existing law", he wrote on Twitter.
Justice Daniels argued that the administration's rule "is plain to the "American Dream" of the opportunity for prosperity and success by exhausting work and upward mobility", adding the measure is "unlawful, arbitrary, and capricious rule". The district court's ruling came one week after President Donald Trump issued a proclamation saying his administration will suspend entry of immigrants who lack healthcare or can not prove they are able to pay for medical expenses.
The policy had been slated to take effect next week, but the judge's nationwide injunction prevents that.
Asked about the ruling by reporters Friday, Trump cited a Supreme Court ruling past year upholding the final version of his travel ban and pointed to his success appointing judges to the courts.
"The rule is simply a new agency policy of exclusion in search of a justification", the judge wrote. The administration also argues that safety-net programs are needed to aid USA citizens and there is not enough money to provide additional benefits. The federal government will decide whether or not to appeal, and it could conceivably be taken up by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Cuccinelli, who is named in the lawsuit, said the inscription should read instead: "Give me your exhausted and your poor who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge".
"Long-standing federal law requires aliens to rely on their own capabilities and the resources of their families, sponsors and private organizations in their communities to succeed", USCIS acting Director Ken Cuccinelli said Friday.
"The United States of America has no official language", he scolded.
The policy change immediately drew fire from anti-hunger advocates and immigrant advocates.
A study published by the Urban Institute earlier this year found that about one in seven adults in immigrant families reported that either the person or a family member did not participate in a non-cash safety net program last year because of fear of risking his or her green card status in the future.
The rule is just one in a series of efforts by the White House to limit both legal and illegal immigration to the U.S.