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Cook County Suit Stops Feds on Immigration

Claims that taxpayers will be left out of pocket from changes to immigration practices sought by the Trump Administration are enough to block their enforcement, according to a Northern Distrct Court decision that adds to the judicial dissent nationwide over so-called ‘public charge’ rules. Set to go into effect this month, the changes grant federal authorities greater leeway in determining whether foreign nationals are likely to consume government services should they be admitted to the US. The Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds amendment is the Department of Homeland Security’s attempt to widen parameters contained in a long standing rule that lets the government reject visa applications.

Cook County government and a Chicago-based immigration agency won a temporary restraining order, contending in part that the drain on public coffers is greater if those already here opt out of assistance programs for fear of deportation and subsequently require emergency services. Judge Gary Fienerman deemed the order necessary to prevent undue financial harm while their non-punitive suit proceeds. It comes as federal justices around the country have ruled that the department is overstepping its authority under the Immigration and Nationality Act.