A federal judge blocked the Trump administration on Wednesday from going ahead with plans to reject the green card Immigrants who have received Medicaid, food stamps or housing vouchers, even on a limited basis – a funding test that led many states, New York, to sue during the coronovirus epidemic.
Judge of the US District Court in Manhattan, George B. Daniels granted a nationwide temporary injunction suspending the eligibility requirements introduced last year and posed a number of legal challenges, including the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court ruled in January that the Trump administration could go ahead with the plan, but that was before the epidemic.
In the past, green card applicants who relied on social services as a primary means of financial aid or who were institutionalized are known as the “public fees” rule. But less than 1 percent of applicants were previously disqualified on public charge basis.
President Trump has called for an expansion of the requirements, but critics argued that they could have a chilling effect for legal immigrants who needed medical treatment or financial support during the epidemic.
Judge Daniels wrote that the policy “fails to measure the gravity of this global epidemic that continues to threaten the lives and economic well-being of America’s residents.”
“No person should hesitate to seek medical care, nor should they bear penalties or punishments if they seek temporary financial assistance as a result of the effects of the epidemic,” he wrote.
It was the latest immigration conflict between Democrats and the Trump administration, which was blocked by the Supreme Court last month from ending a program known as deportation to nearly 700,000 young immigrants. This month, the administration planned to withdraw visas from international students who took only online classes.
New York Attorney General Letitia James, a Democrat, said, “This is a major victory to protect the health of our communities in New York and throughout the country.” Wrote on twitter on Wednesday.
The White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment Wednesday night.
The suit for lawsuits included New York City, Connecticut and Vermont.
Attorney General William Tong, a Democrat, said in an interview Wednesday night that he expected the Trump administration to appeal the ruling.
“I don’t think there is any doubt that the president’s plan is to continue his war on immigrants as long as he is president,” Mr. Tong said.
Mr Tong said that applicants for the green card would apply for food stamps to avoid traveling to the doctor or being penalized.
“This is a big win for the rule of law and fairness and public health,” he said. “It’s completely unsafe and crazy how people try to prevent people from seeking treatment for Kovid or any other condition in the midst of an epidemic.”