(Headline USA) A federal judge on Wednesday blocked a Trump administration rule that could deny green cards to immigrants over use of public benefits from being applied during the current coronavirus pandemic.
The guidelines had gone into effect in February, after legal challenges by open-borders activists who claimed they would have a chilling effect on immigrants seeking medical care and other social services.
In issuing the preliminary nationwide injunction, U.S. District Judge George Daniels in Manhattan said, “Any policy that deters residents from seeking testing and treatment for COVID-19 increases the risk of infection for such residents and the public.”
Daniels—a Bill Clinton-appointed judge with a degree from the University of California’s Berkeley School of Law—continued: “Adverse government action that targets immigrants, however, is particularly dangerous during a pandemic.”
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services had said in March that the new guidelines would not apply to immigrants with coronavirus or virus symptoms if they got care, but Daniels said that announcement was “plainly insufficient” over a number of concerns, like whether other forms that might be needed, like food stamps, would also be exempt.
“Simply relying on the compassion or sympathy of immigration officials is not rational, either in rule-making or in informally attempting to amend those rules,” he wrote of the policy, the aim of which was to deter immigrants from abusing the current social safety net and rely instead upon the welfare systems within their native countries.
American citizens have often been short-shrifted by the influx of illegal immigrants who come to the country explicitly for the purpose of exploiting taxpayer-subsidized medical care, education and welfare.
Some “sanctuary states” like California have even offered economic stimulus payments to illegals, while demanding that the federal government then offset the cost of their fiscal irresponsibility.
The Supreme Court in January ruled that the Trump administration’s “public charge” policy could go into effect while the lawsuits were underway and declined to revisit the issue in April.
Under the new guidelines, immigrants applying for permanent residency must show they wouldn’t be burdens to the country and expands the factors that immigration officials could use to make that judgement.
Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press