A New York federal judge has issued a nationwide preliminary injunction against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from implementing a new rule regarding how the agency determines whether an immigrant would be considered a “public charge.” The decision by Judge George Daniels of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York issued the injunction just a few days before it was scheduled to take effect.

Daniels’s order focused on the Government’s failure for not adequately explaining why it was changing the definition of “public charge” or why the change was needed. Specifically, Daniels chided DHS stating that “the Rule is simply a new agency policy of exclusion in search of a justification. It is repugnant to the American dream of the opportunity for prosperity and success through hard work and upward mobility.”

The controversial rule would allow immigration adjudicators to deny intending immigrants their green cards and visas who use certain government benefits or whom authorities determine will rely on welfare benefit programs in the future. The new rule would not affect certain immigrants, including asylum seekers, refugees, or special visas designated for Iraqi and Afghani nationals.

DHS is expected to appeal Daniels decision with U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

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