Federal judges block public charge rule from going into effect

surrender monkey
(Photo: Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images)
surrender monkey
(Photo: Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images)

Three federal judges blocked the implementation of the Trump administration’s proposed rule change that would have prevented some immigrants from receiving public assistance.

On Friday, court rulings out of California, New York and Washington temporary stalled the public charge rule from going into effect Oct. 15. 

In September, Attorney General Aaron Ford joined attorneys general from around the country in filing a preliminary injunction to stop the federal government from implementing the rule.

“Each day, my office works to protect Nevadans,” Ford said in a statement. “I’m encouraged by a federal judge’s ruling blocking changes to the Public Charge Rule from being implemented in Nevada and nationwide. Nevada families can rest easy knowing that this office is fighting to protect their public benefits.”

Local groups including Make the Road Nevada, Mi Familia Vota and Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada recently met with Ford to voice their concerns about the proposed change. 

Public charge applies to those applying for permanent resident status or trying to enter the country. It doesn’t apply to naturalization applicants, recipients of Temporary Protected Status or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, victim-based visa holders or people who are seeking or have been granted political asylum.

However, organizers noted the proposal was creating fear and confusion among immigrants, leaving many to forego assistance even if they were eligible. 

The current interpretation of the law only focused on those receiving cash aid to supplement income or long-term medical aid. The new interpretation would have expanded it to include additional types of public assistance — Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program,  Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Supplemental Security Income, and housing subsidies — received for more than 12 months in any 36-month period.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services officers would have also been able to negatively weigh factors such as their English proficiency, or whether immigrants have previously used fee waivers during any part of the application process.

Michael Lyle
Michael Lyle (MJ to some) has been a journalist in Las Vegas for eight years.  He started his career at View Neighborhood News, the community edition of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. During his seven years with the R-J, he won several first place awards from the Nevada Press Association and was named its 2011 Journalist of Merit. He left the paper in 2017 and spent a year as a freelance journalist accumulating bylines anywhere from The Washington Post to Desert Companion. While he covers a range of topics from homelessness to the criminal justice system, he gravitates toward stories about race relations and LGBTQ issues. Born and mostly raised in Las Vegas, Lyle graduated from UNLV with a degree in Journalism and Media Studies. He is currently working on his master's in Communications through an online program at Syracuse University. In his spare time, Lyle cooks through Ina Garten recipes in hopes of one day becoming the successor to the Barefoot Contessa throne. When he isn’t cooking (or eating), he also enjoys reading, running and re-watching episodes of “Parks and Recreation.” He is also in the process of learning kickboxing.

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