New York attorney general to sue Trump administration over 'public charge' rule

New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) said Monday her office will sue the Trump administration over its new “public charge” rule, which expands the list of public benefits that could disqualify recipients from being granted citizenship.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpHealth insurers Cigna, Humana waive out-of-pocket costs for coronavirus treatment Puerto Rico needs more federal help to combat COVID-19 Fauci says April 30 extension is 'a wise and prudent decision' MORE’s new public charge rule is yet one more example of his Administration turning its back on people fighting to make a better life for them and their families,” James said in a statement.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Under this rule, children will go hungry; families will go without medical care. I am committed to defending all of New York’s communities, which is why I intend to sue the Trump Administration over this egregious rule,” she added.

California Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin Christopher NewsomGun sellers listed as 'critical' infrastructure California governor: 170 ventilators sent from Trump administration were 'not working' Texas AG says gun stores are essential, should remain open amid pandemic MORE (D) and Attorney General Xavier BecerraXavier BecerraOvernight Energy: Court upholds Trump repeal of Obama fracking rule | Oil price drop threatens fracking boom | EPA eases rules on gasoline sales amid coronavirus Court OKs Trump repeal of Obama public lands fracking rule Hillicon Valley: House passes key surveillance bill | Paul, Lee urge Trump to kill FISA deal | White House seeks help from tech in coronavirus fight | Dem urges Pence to counter virus misinformation MORE (D) also blasted the rule, with the governor saying in a statement Monday afternoon that the state is "actively reviewing the details to determine next steps."

“This is a reckless policy that targets the health and well-being of immigrant families and communities of color, with widespread implications for our state’s health care, housing and affordability," Newsom said.

Becerra said Tuesday night that he the state would also be suing the administration.

The rule, announced Monday, expands the definition of “public charge,” under which the Department of Homeland Security may deny visas, green cards or entry, to include use of services such as food stamps, Medicaid or housing subsidies for an aggregate 12 months within any three-year period by a noncitizen.

"We certainly expect people of any income to be able to stand on their own two feet," Ken Cuccinelli, the acting director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, said Monday. "A poor person can prepare to be self-sufficient ... so let's not look at that as the be all end all."

Immigrant advocacy groups have warned that the rule could frighten immigrants out of seeking necessary care.

"It will have a dire humanitarian impact, forcing some families to forego critical life-saving health care and nutrition," National Immigration Law Center executive director Marielena Hincapieé said in a statement. "The damage will be felt for decades to come."

The Hill has reached out to Citizenship and Immigration Services for comment.

Updated: Tuesday at 8:54 p.m.