NEW YORK (AP) — The scene is playing out in courtrooms from coast to coast — federal judges being asked to block a new Trump administration policy scheduled to take effect next week that would deny legal permanent residency to many immigrants over the use of public benefits.
Almost a dozen lawsuits have been filed from New York to California with plaintiffs including states, counties, cities, service providers and immigrants to prevent the “public charge” rule from taking effect on Oct. 15. A judge in California held a hearing last week, while a judge in New York held one on Monday, and others are scheduled for this week, with the lawsuits asking for preliminary injunctions to keep the rule from being enforced while challenges to its legality are ongoing. Judges have indicated a willingness to issue rulings before the scheduled start date.
“I’ve litigated against federal and state agencies over the years and I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Liz Schott of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, which has been tracking the progress of the various lawsuits. “It’s a tremendously broad set of players reflecting the huge significance and impact of the rule.”
The rule is an aggressive step by the Trump administration in its efforts to rewrite the nation’s immigration policies with its focus on effectively denying permanent resident status to many legal immigrants through how it defines a “public charge.”