Judge Blocks ‘Public Charge’ Rule for Immigrants
Health Care

Judge Blocks ‘Public Charge’ Rule for Immigrants

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A federal judge has halted an effort by the Trump administration to deny green cards to immigrants who use public benefits such as food stamps, Medicaid and housing assistance.  

U.S. District Judge Gary Feinerman on Monday struck down the rule, saying that, among other issues, it violated the Administrative Procedure Act, which governs the process for creating new rules at federal agencies.

The Trump administration’s rule change was the subject of numerous legal challenges. Officials in Chicago said the new rule would result in some immigrants avoiding necessary medical care, for fear of being branded “public charges” and thereby losing access to residency. “As we all continue to be impacted by COVID-19, it is vital that no one is fearful of accessing health care,” Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said in a statement. “The court’s decision to block enforcement of the Public Charge Rule re-opens doors for immigrants to access vital services like health care.”

Officials at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Immigration and Citizenship Services have not said whether they will appeal the ruling.