Judges from a Manhattan-based appeals court on Monday challenged the Trump administration’s rationale for a new rule that would make it easier for the federal government to deny legal status to immigrants who apply for public assistance.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit peppered Justice Department attorney Gerard Sinzdak with a series of questions over his defense of the administration’s so-called “public charge” rule, which would expand the ability of immigration officials to deny green cards and certain visas to applicants who had been, or may become, a burden on the country.

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