A federal appeals court has upheld a decision last October by a local kritarch on non-citizen use of public benefits.
The issue here was a new rule, brought in earlier this year by the Department of Homeland Security, denying green cards—that's permanent resident-alien status—to aliens who use Medicaid, food stamps, and other types of public assistance. So this is part of the larger "public charge" issue. Should a foreigner who is going to be a charge on the public fisc be given permanent-residence status?
The common-sense reply to that is: Of course not. Why on earth would a country want to import welfare cases?
The kritarch, a Clinton-appointed black judge named George B. Daniels, begged to differ, and this week's ruling from the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals supports him. This new DHS rule, said the court, has already had an irreparable chilling effect on noncitizen use of public benefits.
My dictionary defines the word "irreparable" as "cannot be repaired or mended." Without thinking very hard at all I can rather easily come up with a course of action that would mend that chilling effect once and for all, and save taxpaying citizens a ton of money into the bargain. I guess I'm not cut out to be an appeals court judge.