Federal judges in New York and California on Friday ordered a nationwide block in cases challenging a Trump administration policy that would make it far easier for the government to deny legal status to immigrants who use or are deemed likely to use public assistance. The rule was set to go into effect next week, NBC News reports.
Judge George B. Daniels, of the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, ordered preliminary injunctions Friday afternoon against the administration’s new “public charge” rule that could have denied legal permanent residency and other forms of legal status to many immigrants in the country who are deemed likely to use public assistance.
"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 Letitia James said on Twitter.
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Later on Friday afternoon, Judge Phyllis J. Hamilton issued a preliminary injunction in a case announced by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra. California was joined by Maine, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C., in the lawsuit.
The Trump administration argues that expanding the meaning of “public charge” helps “protect American taxpayers” and ensures "that noncitizens in this country are self-sufficient and not a strain on public resources.”