Politics

Judge blocks Trump's public charge rule that would make it harder for immigrants to gain citizenship

Key Points
  • Judge George Daniels of the Southern District of New York grants the first nationwide preliminary injunction Friday to block Trump's new public charge rule.
  • The rule makes it harder for immigrants to secure permanent residency and a citizenship if they rely on public benefits such as Medicaid, food stamps and housing assistance.

Judge George Daniels of the Southern District of New York on Friday blocked the Trump administration's new public charge rule from going into effect.

New York, Connecticut, Vermont and New York City filed the motion for preliminary injunction on Sept. 9.

The rule makes it harder for immigrants to secure permanent residency and citizenship if they rely on public benefits such as Medicaid, food stamps and housing assistance.

In his decision, Judge Daniels wrote, "The Rule is simply a new agency policy of exclusion in search of a justification. It is repugnant to the American Dream of the opportunity for prosperity and success through hard work and upward mobility. Immigrants have always come to this country seeking a better life for themselves and their posterity. With or without help, most succeed."

A total of nine lawsuits against the public charge rule have been filed by several states and advocacy groups since the administration finalized the rule on Aug. 14. The rule was set to go into effect on Tuesday.

Kenneth Cuccinelli, acting director of the U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement, said in a press briefing on Aug. 19 that the purpose of the rule is to ensure immigrants are "self-sufficient."

The White House and the Department of Homeland Security did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday.

Immigration advocates slammed the rule as discriminatory against low-income communities and people of color.

"The Trump administration's deliberate attacks to punish immigrants and working class people of color are inhumane and unlawful," said Javier H. Valdes, co-executive director of advocacy group Make the Road, in a statement. "The courts must act now to protect our legal immigration system and prevent this rule change."

The New York Attorney General Letitia James tweeted about the victory on Friday.

James said in a statement, "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 cannot rewrite our story to meet their agenda."

"As long as our communities are under attack from this federal government, we will never stop fighting back."

Deputy Director and Counsel of the California Immigrant Policy Center Almas Sayeed said in a statement that they "applaud and celebrate" the court's decision.

"Today the court reaffirmed that no person should have to forgo using key nutrition, health, or housing programs out of fear of jeopardizing their immigration status. While we wait for a permanent injunction, we encourage all families to access the services they need to thrive."