A Manhattan federal judge repeatedly pressed a Justice Department lawyer on the rationale behind the Trump administration’s proposed “public charge” rule, which is aimed at making it easier for the federal government to deny green cards to immigrants who may rely on public assistance based on their income.

In an aggressive line of questioning, U.S. District Judge George B. Daniels of the Southern District of New York said the proposed rule, set to take effect Oct. 15, sought to impose a new definition that would include noncitizens who are likely to receive some form of public benefits for more than 12 months in a 36-month period.