Ken Cuccinelli, senior official performing the duties of the deputy secretary of Homeland Security, in March. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

A federal judge in New York on Wednesday blocked the Trump administration from denying permanent residency to immigrants who are likely to use public welfare programs during the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: Judge George Daniels said that denying immigrants green cards as part the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services "public charge" rule could harm mitigation efforts during the coronavirus pandemic.

Context: The Immigration and Nationality Act allows the government to reject permanent residency to immigrants who are likely to be a "public charge" or depend on the government for support.

  • However, the Trump administration in February altered the rule, allowing the government to deny green cards to people who would likely use the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, housing vouchers and assistance, public housing or federally funded forms of Medicaid.

What they're saying: "Doctors and other medical personnel, state and local officials, and staff at nonprofit organizations have all witnessed immigrants refusing to enroll in Medicaid or other public funded health coverage, or forgoing testing and treatment for COVID-19, out of fear that accepting such insurance or care will increase their risk of being labeled a public charge," Daniels wrote in his ruling.

  • "As a direct result of the rule, immigrants are forced to make an impossible choice between jeopardizing health and personal safety or their immigration status."

Of note: While the challenge was brought by New York, Connecticut and Vermont, Daniels held that the immigration rule should be halted nationwide.

  • Axios has contacted the Trump administration for comment.

Read the full decision via DocumentCloud:

Go deeper: Immigrants sue for delayed naturalizations during coronavirus

Go deeper

GOP plans "nightly surprise" for revamped convention

President Trump at the 2016 Republican National Convention. Photo: Bill Clark/Getty Images

The reworked Republican National Convention will be a four-night spectacle including still-under-wraps venues, a 10 p.m. "nightly surprise" and guests and themes playing to "the forgotten men and women of America," two senior Trump campaign officials involved tell Axios.

Driving the news: The messaging will focus heavily on "very granular details" of what a second term for President Trump would look like — answering a question Trump left hanging in a Fox News event earlier this summer — and attack cancel culture, "radical elements" of society and threats to public safety.

38 mins ago - Health

Axios-Ipsos poll: Fear of voting

Data: Axios/Ipsos poll; Note: ±3.0% margin of error for the total sample; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Democrats are twice as likely as Republicans to worry about in-person voting — with nearly two in three seeing it as a large or moderate risk to their health — according to this week's installment of the Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

Why it matters: This could pose a significant disadvantage for Joe Biden and other Democratic candidates in November if the pattern holds — especially in states where high infection rates persist, or where there are significant hurdles to mail-in, absentee or early voting.

Trump: Coronavirus is "under control"

President Trump said in an interview with “Axios on HBO” that he thinks the coronavirus is as well-controlled in the U.S. as it can be, despite dramatic surges in new infections over the course of the summer and more than 150,000 American deaths.

  • “They are dying, that's true. And you have — it is what it is. But that doesn't mean we aren't doing everything we can. It's under control as much as you can control it. This is a horrible plague,” he told Axios' Jonathan Swan.