Trump's ‘public charge’ rule blocked by federal judge

Make the Road New York rallied against the ‘public charge’ rule in August.  Eagle  file photo by Victoria Merlino.

Make the Road New York rallied against the ‘public charge’ rule in August. Eagle file photo by Victoria Merlino.

By Victoria Merlino

Just days before it was supposed to go into effect, the Trump Administration's “public charge” rule is a no go — at least for now.

New York Attorney General Letitia James announced on Friday that a judge from the Southern District of New York granted a nationwide preliminary injunction on the rule as multiple lawsuits against it snake their way through the court system. 

Immigrants can be denied entry or residency into the United States based on their likeliness of participating in cash assistance program, or their likeliness of receiving long-term institutional care. 

The Trump administration proposed expanding this definition to include those who have used, or may use, services like Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or Section 8 housing, called the “public charge” rule. The law was slated to go into effect Oct. 15.

Advocates in Queens, such as immigrants rights organization Make the Road New York and The Legal Aid Society, have said that the rule could have a devastating impact on the borough’s large immigrant community if it went into effect. 

“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 in a statement. “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.”

James filed her lawsuit against the Trump Administration in August, backed by Mayor Bill de Blasio. Legal Aid, Make the Road and a host of other community groups in the city also filed a lawsuit over the rule this summer.