Catholic Charities

Ana Ventura Phares, executive director of Catholic Charities for the Diocese of Monterey, says her staff has been educating members of the immigrant community about the federal public charge rule. Many immigrants aren't affected by the rule.

With just four days to spare, a U.S. district judge in New York slapped a temporary injunction against a move by the Trump administration to deny citizenship to some immigrants based on potential future need of public benefits.

The proposed enforcement and expansion of the rule, known as "public charge," struck fear among Latino immigrants in Monterey County when it was announced last year. Some pulled themselves and their children out of programs such as Medi-Cal and CalFresh to the frustration of local advocates who say many did so needlessly. Advocates have been scrambling to get out the word to immigrants that they should remain enrolled in benefits programs they qualify for.

The rule was scheduled to go into effect Oct. 15.

The 24-page ruling was issued by U.S. District Judge George Daniels for the Southern District of New York on Oct. 11. Daniels lambasted the administration for its appeal of a lawsuit by the state of New York, calling public charge "a new agency policy of exclusion searching for justification. 

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“It is repugnant to the American Dream of the opportunity for prosperity and success through hard work and upward mobility,” Daniels wrote. “Immigrants have always come to this country seeking a better live for themselves and their posterity. With or without help, most succeed.”

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