Judge Blocks Trump Rule That Could Deny Visas and Green Cards to Immigrants on Welfare

A federal judge in New York issued a temporary injunction Friday against a Trump administration immigration rule that will prevent the rule from taking effect Tuesday as originally planned.

Judge George B. Daniels of the Southern District of New York issued the ruling, according to The New York Times.

The rule, announced by the Trump administration in August, would allow the government to turn away green card and visa applicants based on their use of benefits such as Medicaid and food stamps, CNN reported at the time.

Other “negative factors” the government could consider under the rule include being unemployed and lacking proficiency in English, according to The Times.

According to a White House news release, the rule was designed to “help ensure that if aliens want to enter or remain in the United States they must support themselves, and not rely on public benefit.”

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In his ruling, Daniels argued that were the rule to go into effect, those potentially affected could suffer “irreparable harm,” The Times reported.

The inclusion of English proficiency as a standard for accepting applicants was among Daniels’ reasons for issuing the injunction.

“It is simply offensive to contend that English proficiency is a valid predictor of self-sufficiency,” he wrote.

“The rule is simply a new agency policy of exclusion in search of a justification,” Daniels said. “It is repugnant to the American Dream of the opportunity for prosperity and success through hard work and upward mobility.”

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Ken Cuccinelli, President Donald Trump’s acting director of Citizenship and Immigration Services, addressed similar claims of “repugnance” in an August interview with NPR.

Just days after the announcement of the new rule, Cuccinelli defended the administration.

He argued that it “doesn’t seem like too much to ask, as we open our doors currently to more than a million new people a year, that they not become a burden on an already, frankly, overburdened and bankrupt welfare system.”

NPR’s Rachel Martin suggested to Cuccinelli that the Trump administration’s rule “appears to change the definition of the American dream.”

The immigration official responded by saying, “It certainly does not change what makes America exceptional, and it doesn’t change the definition of the American dream.”

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“We invite people to come here and join us as a privilege,” Cuccinelli continued. “No one has a right to become an American who isn’t born here as an American.

“America has generously opened its doors for many years, and we continue to do so.”