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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

Trump's legacy is shaped by his narrow interests

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

President Trump's policy legacy is as much defined by what he's ignored as by what he's involved himself in.

The big picture: Over the past four years, Trump has interested himself in only a slim slice of the government he leads. Outside of trade, immigration, a personal war against the "Deep State" and the hot foreign policy issue of the moment, Trump has left many of his Cabinet secretaries to work without interruption, let alone direction.

1 hour ago - World

Mapped: The world's most and least corrupt countries

Expand chart
Data: Transparency International; Map: Jared Whalen/Axios

The most corrupt governments in the world are in South Sudan, Syria and Somalia, according to Transparency International's annual index, while the "cleanest" are in Denmark, Finland and New Zealand.

  • Breaking it down: The U.S. is 27th, China 66th, India 85th, Brazil 96th and Russia 136th. Scroll over the map to see each country's ranking.

Crypto leads to massive surge in online scams

Expand chart
Reproduced from FTC; Chart: Axios Visuals

Bogus cryptocurrency investments led to an unprecedented increase in online scams last year, according to new data from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Why it matters: Cryptocurrency is an easy target because while it's surging in popularity, there's still a lot of confusion about how it works.