A New York judge blocked President Donald Trump’s “Public Charge” rule for would-be legal immigrants, saying it hinders national efforts to contain coronavirus.

The government’s interest “in effectuating the rule fails to measure up to the gravity of this global pandemic that continues to threaten the lives and economic well-being of America’s residents,” said the July 29 declaration by U.S. District Judge George Daniels.

“No person should hesitate to seek medical care, nor should they endure punishment or penalty if they seek temporary financial aid as a result of the pandemic’s impact,” said Daniels, who is a graduate of Yale University and was nominated to the court by President Bill Clinton.

In January, the Supreme Court lifted a nationwide injunction imposed by Daniels. This latest injunction will likely be appealed.

The national injunction comes as Daniels oversees a lawsuit by several pro-mass immigration groups against the Public Charge rule, which is intended to exclude migrants who cannot pay their way in the United States. The rule would deny green cards to people who need some forms of government aid, and so become a public charge.

The rule has attracted intense opposition from lobbyists and politicians who are eager to blend investors’ economic goals with progressives’ support for immigrants. The public charge reform is a “wealth tax” for immigrants, said Todd Schulte, who runs the advocacy group for wealthy investors, including Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates. “The Trump administration’s changes to public charge are a backdoor effort to cut legal immigration, essentially creating a wealth test for individuals looking to come to the U.S. to contribute to our country and build a better life for themselves,” Schulte said via Twitter.

Business groups told judges in January they should reject the Public Charge rule because it will disadvantage employers and investors, ignoring the dramatic negative impact faced by citizens.

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Updated: Thu, Aug 13th 2020 @ 2:10pm EDT