Federal judge in New York blocks the public charge rule

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The public charge rule, which was set to take effect on Tuesday, is “repugnant to the American dream,” says the judge.

Ever since the Trump administration announced its intention to deny visas and Green Cards to immigrants who have used or may use public benefits, there has been an unrest among the immigrant community.

But today, in what can be described as a knock-out blow to the rule, Judge George Daniels, at the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, issued a nationwide injunction that prohibits the administration from enforcing the public charge rule. The rule was slated to take effect next Tuesday.

The judge said that the government had not adequately explained why it was changing the definition of public charge or why the change was needed. “The Rule is simply a new agency policy of exclusion in search of a justification,” Daniels wrote. “It is repugnant to the American dream of the opportunity for prosperity and success through hard work and upwards mobility.”

The new development marks a victory for many immigrant and human rights activists who have been campaigning against the Trump administrations stringent policies toward immigration benefits.

Ever since the public charge rule was announced, immigrants’ rights groups have been challenging it in court. In fact, over a dozen lawsuits against the rule were filed in several federal courts across the country.

The rule, if implemented, would have enabled the USCIS with more opportunities to deny applications for Green Cards, as well as visas, to immigrants who may use certain government benefits.

The rule would have also given the USCIS more flexibility in determining if the immigrant may depend on certain welfare programs in the future. The rule would have allowed more room for the authorities to reject an application if they suspect that the immigrant is likely to use government benefits for 12 months or longer over a span of three years.

The term public charge refers to a situation where an individual receives public benefits for more than 12 months within a three year period.

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