California sues Trump over ‘public charge’ rule denying green cards to immigrants who receive public assistance.
California on Friday sued the Trump administration to challenge the legality of a new “public charge” rule that could deny green cards to immigrants who receive public assistance, including food stamps, Medicaid and housing vouchers.
The lawsuit was filed by state Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra in federal court in Northern California just days after the Trump administration new rule that could make it harder for many immigrants to get legal status in the United States.
“This cruel policy would force working parents and families across the nation to forego basic necessities like food, housing and healthcare out of fear. That is simply unacceptable,” Becerra said in a statement.
Gov. Gavin Newsom also criticized the federal policy change in a statement:
“This latest move by the federal administration to demonize immigrants is personal for us, in a state where half of our children have at least one immigrant parent,” the governor said. “This new rule, designed to create fear in immigrant families, is cruel and threatens our public health. That is not who we are in California, and not who we are as Americans.”
Immigrants applying for green cards are already required by federal law to prove that they won’t become a “public charge,” posing a financial burden to the United States.
The lawsuit argues the new rule posted Monday in the federal register creates unnecessary new barriers to eligible immigrants, setting such a strict standard that if it were applied to U.S. citizens nearly a majority would be considered a “public charge.”
In the court filing, Becerra says the new rule violates the equal protection guarantee of the 5th Amendment, disproportionately blocking admission of non-white, non-European immigrants from Asia, Latin America and Africa.
The new federal rule is also illegal because it interferes with the states’ rights to protect their residents, and exceeds the administration’s authority under federal immigration law by circumventing congressional intent, the lawsuit argues.
Becerra added that the rule improperly punishes immigrants for participating in widely used public benefits programs, and the federal government failed to adequately determine the cost on the country and its states if more people suffer from poverty as a result of the rule change.
“In California we know that welcoming and investing in all communities makes our entire nation stronger,” Becerra said. “I know this being the son of hard-working, modest immigrants who likely would have been victims of this regressive policy. We will fight this unlawful rule every step of the way.”
Written by Abelina Tavera