'Repugnant': US judge blocks Trump immigration rule

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An unelected federal Judge from NY has decided the Trump administration's new "public charge" rule won't go into effect on Tuesday, Oct. 15th, as previously scheduled.

U.S. District Judge George Daniels' ruling came just four days before the Trump administration was set to start enforcing new rules that would disqualify immigrants from getting legal U.S. residency if they were likely to become a burden on public welfare programs.

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"The rule is simply a new agency policy of exclusion in search of justification". "It is a rule that will punish individuals for their receipt of benefits provided by our government, and discourages them from lawfully receiving available assistance meant to aid them in becoming contributing members of society".

The policy, known as the "public charge" rule, was halted nationwide from going into effect due to the government's faulty reasoning as to why the new provision was needed.

The Trump administration, with Miller in a leading role, has enacted a series of measures attempting to curtail immigration, only to be blocked by court injunctions until the underlying lawsuits can be heard.

"This rule would have had devastating impacts on New Yorkers and our nation, and today's decision is a critical step in our efforts to uphold the rule of law", New York Attorney General James said on Twitter, after the judge's decision.

The rule prompted concern among advocates who argued it would lead many immigrants - including those with children who are citizens - to forgo participating in a government safety net program because of fear that it could risk their green card status in the future.

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo called the ruling "an important win for our country (that) sends a clear message that we will not allow these hateful policies imposed by the Trump administration to tear our country apart".

Multiple lawsuits from states and from immigrants nationwide were in progress when Judge George B. Daniels of the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of NY made his ruling on Friday.

While Trump has focused much of his attention on illegal immigration - including his pledge to build a wall on the Mexican border - he has also trained his sights on curbing legal immigration by moving away from a system that is largely based on family ties. Those ideas were part of his pitch for an overhaul of immigration laws during his first year but negotiations faltered in Congress.

According to one study, talk of the rule, along with confusion over which benefits will be consider, has prompted some immigrant families - including USA citizens - to avoid or drop food, medical and housing government benefits out of fear that enrollment would jeopardize immigration petitions filed by family members.

The controversial rule would make it more hard for immigrants to get green cards if it looks like they might need public assistance. If someone uses two benefits, that is counted as two months. If they use food stamps, housing assistance or Medicaid, that too would be held against them.

In August, the Trump administration announced a new "public charge" rule for immigrants seeking to enter the country or obtain a green card.

Critics say the rule changes are discriminatory and would have the effect of barring immigrants with lower incomes in favor of those with wealth. They consider it a betrayal of Emma Lazarus' words on the Statue of Liberty, "Give me your exhausted, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free". For food assistance, immigrants are 8.8% of recipients, with over 85% of participants being native-born. The measure will be effective November 3.

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