Courts block Trump policy targeting low-income immigrants

Camilo Montoya-Galvez

This article, Courts block Trump policy targeting low-income immigrants, originally appeared on

Washington, D.C. — Three federal courts on Friday blocked a that would've made it easier for the Trump administration to reject green card and visa applications filed by low-income immigrants whom the government determines are or might become a burden on U.S. taxpayers.  

Judge George Daniels of the U.S. District Court in Manhattan issued a preliminary nationwide injunction prohibiting the administration from enforcing the so-called "public charge" rule just days before it was slated to take effect on Tuesday. A federal judge in Washington state also blocked the regulation nationwide, while a third district court judge in San Francisco said the administration could not enforce the rule within the jurisdiction of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.  

The decisions represent yet another defeat in court for the White House and its concerted campaign to dramatically overhaul the nation's legal immigration system. They also signify a major legal triumph for a coalition of advocacy groups and Democratic-led states, counties and cities that challenged the rule through in federal courts across the country.

Daniels in his order faulted the government for not adequately explaining why it was changing the definition of a "public charge" or why the change was needed. "The Rule is simply a new agency policy of exclusion in search of a justification," he wrote in his ruling. "It is repugnant to the American dream of the opportunity for prosperity and success through hard work and upwards mobility."

The State Department last year expanded "public charge" considerations used by consular officers to grant or reject visa applications. The White House budget office is also currently reviewing a proposed Justice Department regulation that would allow the U.S. to deport immigrants deemed a "public charge" under the new guidelines of the USCIS rule that was blocked on Friday.  

Earlier in the month, the  that it is preparing to reject visa applications from immigrants the government determines will not be able to pay for health insurance or cover health care costs in the U.S. The new requirement is set to go into effect November 3.

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