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CT and NY attorneys general welcome court’s blocking of Trump ‘public charge’ rule

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The attorneys general of Connecticut and New York welcomed a ruling by a federal judge to block the Trump Administration’s new “public charge” rule. That rule  would deny citizenship and permanent residency to low-income immigrants who rely on federal welfare benefits, including food stamps and government-subsidized housing.

The new rule was first proposed in October 2018 and the 60-day public comment period drew more than 260,000 responses, with the majority voicing strong opposition.

A final version of the rule, which runs more than 800 pages, was scheduled to go into effect on Oct. 15. Connecticut, New York, Vermont and New York City filed a lawsuit in August seeking to block the new rule, while Judge George B. Daniels of the U.S. District Court of Manhattan issued a preliminary nationwide injunction on Oct. 11 that stopped the rule from starting.

“The history of our nation is inextricably tied to our immigrant communities, and because of today’s decision, so too will be our future,” said New York Attorney General Letitia James following the judge’s ruling. “Once again, the courts have thwarted the Trump Administration’s attempts to enact rules that violate both our laws and our values, sending a loud and clear message that they cannot rewrite our story to meet their agenda.

“This rule would have had devastating impacts on all New Yorkers – citizens and non-citizens alike – and today’s decision is a critical step in our efforts to uphold the rule of law,” she continued. “As long as our communities are under attack from this federal government, we will never stop fighting back.”

“The new public charge rule is a cruel attempt to vilify immigrants and drive families underground,” said Connecticut Attorney General William Tong. “This scheme sought to scare legal immigrants and their families away from seeking access to medical care, healthy food, and safe housing.

“The Court saw this plan for what it is — an unlawful and arbitrary overreach of federal authority that would cause irreparable harm to the people of our state,” he added. “This nationwide injunction is a major victory, but it only a first step in this process. The Court found that we have a likelihood of succeeding on the merits of our claims, and we intend to continue to prove that case to prevent this cruel and heartless proposal from ever becoming a reality.”

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