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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.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
4 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Key clean power provision likely won't survive in Dems' spending bill

A construction worker walks along a dirt road at the Avangrid Renewables La Joya wind farm in Encino, New Mexico, on Aug. 5, 2020. Photo: Cate Dingley/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A pillar of Democrats' plans to speed deployment of zero-carbon electricity is likely to be cut from major spending and tax legislation they are struggling to move on a party-line vote, per multiple reports and a Capitol Hill aide.

Driving the news: The New York Times, citing anonymous congressional aides and lobbyists, reports that West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (D) has told the White House he "strongly opposes" the Clean Electricity Performance Program.

Updated 7 hours ago - World

Fatal stabbing of British MP David Amess declared a terrorist incident

Police outside Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, England, on Oct. 15. Photo: John Keeble/Getty Images

Authorities have declared the death of David Amess a terrorist incident, hours after the Conservative Party lawmaker in the U.K. was fatally stabbed while meeting with local constituents in a church in eastern England on Friday.

The big picture: The Metropolitan Police has found "a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism."