Oct. 14, 2019, By Shane O’Brien
Elected officials and immigrant organization’s in New York have welcomed a federal judge’s decision to temporarily block the Trump Administration’s Public Charge Rule from coming into law.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, New York Attorney General Letitia James and advocacy group Make the Road New York all celebrated the decision of New York judge George Daniels to block the rule which would make it easier for the United States to deny green cards to immigrants likely to rely on public assistance.
Daniels issued a preliminary nationwide injunction on Friday, Oct. 11, preventing the rule from taking effect on Oct. 15 as planned.
The rule now cannot become law until a final decision is reached by the US courts.
The Trump Administration’s rule seeks to redefine the term public charge.
Current US immigration laws allow the government to stop immigrants who are at risk of relying on certain types of public support from obtaining green cards, but Trump’s proposed rule would expand the types of benefits considered public support, including Medicaid, food assistance and federal housing vouchers.
Daniels said on Friday that the Public Charge Rule was a policy of exclusion and that it would prevent immigrants coming to America in search of a better life.
“Immigrants have always come to this country seeking a better life for themselves and their posterity. With or without help, most succeed.” Daniels said.
De Blasio praised Daniels’ decision and vowed to continue to fight to prevent the public charge rule from becoming a reality.
“In New York City, we always stand up for our immigrant brothers and sisters,” de Blasio said. “The court’s decision to halt the public charge rule from going into effect nationwide is only further proof of something we already know – the President’s policies are xenophobic and hateful, with no basis in fact or reality. We’ll continue to fight him every step of the way.”
James, who sued the Trump Administration in August over the Public Charge Rule, said that the rule would have had a devastating impact in the state of New York and in other states across the country. She said that she would never stop defending immigrant communities from the current government.
“The history of our nation is inextricably tied to our immigrant communities, and because of today’s decision, so too will be our future,” James said. “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 cannot rewrite our story to meet their agenda.”
The states of Connecticut and Vermont and the city of New York all joined James’ lawsuit in September and they filed a joint motion for a preliminary injunction against the Public Charge Rule, arguing that it would have short and long-term impacts on public health and the economy.
Make the Road New York also sued the Trump Administration over the ruling in August and Co-Executive Director Javier Valdes said that rule deliberately discriminated against immigrants from a poor background.
“Today’s decision marks a major defeat for the Trump administration’s unlawful tactic to impose a racist wealth test on our immigration system,” Valdes said. “People should be able to access vital and life-saving benefits without having to worry if they could remain with their families.”
The lawsuits argue that the proposed rule would erect a racist wealth test as a barrier to immigration into the United States and the courts will now determine the legality of the proposed Public Charge Rule.