The controversial norm would make low-income immigrants ineligible for permanent residence

Federal judges stop Trump's law on “public charge”

Archive photography of President Donald Trump.

MANDEL NGAN / Getty Images

NY – Two federal judges gave a "setback" to the immigration policy of President Donald Trump when issuing an order of national influence to prevent the entry into force of the law concerning the "Public charge". The announcement was made on Friday, October 11, four days before those established to start with this new rule that it would have caused low-income immigrants to be inadmissible in the United States.

These judges have become the first in the country to block the measure, which was intended to facilitate the Federal Government deny legal resident status to poor immigrants who receive social assistance from the US Administration.

The controversial norm makes immigrants ineligible for the authorities to consider that they have become a “public charge” for the country to benefit from public aid such as food stamps, free medical care or cash assistance, among others.

The magistrate of the Southern District of New York, George B. Daniels, decreed that the rule cannot be implemented throughout the country following a lawsuit filed by the states of New York, Connecticut and Vermont and the city of New York, which alleges that the policy specifically harms immigrants from racial minorities.

As reported by New York State Prosecutor Letitia James, with this "blockade" it has been allowed to curb a rule that would have had "devastating effects on New Yorkers and our nation, and today's decision is a critical step in our efforts to defend the rule of law".

"The balance of actions and the interests of justice favor the issuance of a preliminary injunction," the judge wrote in his order.

The rule of "Public charge", which was scheduled to take effect next Tuesday, set new standards to determine who could become a burden on the public treasury and it prevented people with low resources from obtaining permanent residence in the country.

Judge Daniels' order came a few days after President Donald Trump also moved to deny immigrant visas to those who cannot prove they will have health insurance or who can pay for their own medical care.

The regulation of the separate public charge that was the subject of the last court order had been strongly condemned by immigrant defense groups and medical sectors, which they argued that the rule would discourage immigrants from seeking government help when they may need help buying food or seeing a doctor.

The new standard would have directly affected about 1.2 million applicants annually, including about 500,000 already in the country.

The rule generated a series of lawsuits around the country, which in the case of California argue that the rule violates the guarantee of equal protection of the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution, since it disproportionately affects obtaining permanent residence and citizenship for non-white immigrants.

The judge of the District Court for Northern California, Phyllis J. Hamilton, also ruled in favor of the petition made by a set of plaintiffs that include the “Golden State,” Maine, Oregon, Pennsylvania, the District of Columbia, the city of San Francisco and the Clinic of the Race, in which they requested an order to stop the implementation of the new norm.

“Counties and states have demonstrated a probability of irreparable damage based on their loss of funds… Those damages are derived directly from the cancellation of the registration of individuals seeking medical attention in their jurisdictions, and enrolling in certain other public benefits in their jurisdictions (for example, school lunch programs), ”he explained.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra applauded the decision of the San Francisco judge and assured that "Today's court ruling stops the ruthless attempt by the Trump Administration to turn essential health, housing and nutrition programs into a weapon."

“This ruling is a victory for California communities that deserve to prosper, not live in fear. We hope to continue the fight against this illegal rule. The Trump Administration should learn that no one is above the law, ”the attorney said in a statement.


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