Federal judge blocks Trump admin ‘public charge’ rule for immigrants

    Del. Ibraheem Samirah (D-Fairfax) holds up a sign as President Donald Trump delivers remarks during the 400th anniversary celebration of the first representative legislative assembly at Jamestown on July 30, 2019 in Jamestown, Virginia. | Zach Gibson/Getty Images

    A federal judge in New York on Friday granted an injunction blocking the President Trump administration from implementing its “public charge” rule that would have allowed immigration officials to deny green cards to legal immigrants who receive some public benefits.

    The rule was scheduled to take effect on Tuesday.

    The rule would have restricted immigrants who receive food stamps, Medicaid, welfare or housing assistance from applying for green cards or certain other kinds of visas, and put certain income restrictions in place. According to the nonpartisan Michigan League for Public Policy (MLPP), that could indirectly affect almost 300,000 people in Michigan.

    Study: New Trump admin rule cracking down on legal immigrants could impact 300K in Michigan

    “This ruling is a good sign that decency may win out in the end,” said MLPP Chief Operations Officer Karen Holcomb-Merrill. “The Trump administration’s public charge rule, as we know, is really a racially motivated wealth test. And it’s designed to rig the system against immigrants and their families who are on the pathway to a green card. We’re glad to see that the courts are showing what we already know: that this rule is harmful to families.

    “But this is just a small step on the path toward justice. Public charge is one of many ways this administration is attacking families with low incomes, immigrant families, and communities of color and we must keep working hard to make sure to strengthen, not harm, all families in Michigan. We’ll be watching closely as additional lawsuits around public charge play out.”

    In September, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Director Robert Gordon last month wrote an open letter detailing the new policy and reminding immigrants of their rights.

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    Susan J. Demas is an 18-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQs, the state budget, the economy and more. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Farough & Associates, Michigan’s premier political communications firm. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 80 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive. She is the only Michigan journalist to be named to the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Reporters,” the Huffington Post’s list of “Best Political Tweeters” and the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Bloggers.” Susan was the recipient of a prestigious Knight Foundation fellowship in nonprofits and politics. She served as Deputy Editor for MIRS News and helped launch the Michigan Truth Squad, the Center for Michigan’s fact-checking project. She started her journalism career reporting on the Iowa caucuses for The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette. Susan has hiked over 3,000 solo miles across four continents and climbed more than 60 mountains. She also enjoys dragging her husband and two teenagers along, even if no one else wants to sleep in a tent anymore.

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