Federal Judge Blocks Trump Administration Rule on Immigration and Public Benefits

As reported by NBC Los Angeles, a federal judge based in Illinois has invalidated a draconian Trump Administration rule that would potentially deny green cards to immigrants who use basic public benefits. The decision at least temporarily blocks the regulation and provides important protections to many vulnerable immigrants. Here, our Los Angeles immigration law attorney provides an overview of the key ruling from the federal judge.

Trump Administration Wants to Deny Green Card Over Use of Basic Public Benefits

As president, Donald Trump has taken aggressive steps to overhaul the American immigration system. In case after case, the Trump Administration’s proposed reforms have been to the detriment of immigrant rights—particularly vulnerable people, such as asylum seekers, migrant families, and low-income immigrants.

The issue in this case was the Trump Administration’s so-called ‘Public Charge’ rule—an attempt to alter federal law to allow immigration officials to deny lawful permanent residency (green cards) to immigrants who exercised their right to use basic government services, including food stamps, Medicaid benefits, and housing assistance.

Federal Judge: Proposed Rule Violates Administrative Procedure Act

On November 2nd, Chicago-based federal judge Gary Feinerman blocked the rule from taking effect. In accordance with federal law, his decision applies throughout the entire country. In reviewing the case, Judge Feinerman determined that the Trump Administration’s proposal violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA)—a statute that requires the Executive branch to follow protocols when enacting regulations.

Case Could Be Headed to the Supreme Court, But Election Creates Additional Uncertainty

The so-called Public Charge rule has already had a complicated legal history. It was originally announced by the Trump Administration back in 2018 and it was finalized in the summer of 2019. Since that time, a number of different lawsuits have been filed in an effort to stop the regulation from taking effect.

However, earlier this year, the Supreme Court of the United States dismissed a previous legal hold that blocked the law. Now, at least for the time being, Judge Feinerman’s ruling blocks the policy. Still, the administration has already announced its intention to keep fighting to take away immigrant rights. The case may be headed to the nation’s highest court.

It is also worth emphasizing that the election could change things quickly. In his proposed immigration policies, candidate Joe Biden states that his administration would “Reverse Trump’s public charge rule.” Biden calls the attempt to deny green cards to people who use basic public benefits counter to American values. A new administration could quickly withdraw the policy.

Call Our Los Angeles Immigration Lawyers for Legal Guidance

At Goldstein Immigration Lawyers, our Los Angeles immigration attorney is a tireless advocate for immigrant rights. Our firm is proud to provide client-focused, high quality legal representation. If you have any questions about green cards, we are more than prepared to help. Call us now for a completely confidential immigration law consultation. From our conveniently located office in Los Angeles, we represent clients throughout all of Southern California.

Josh Goldstein
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