California, Maine, Pennsylvania, Oregon and the District of Columbia on Friday joined a growing list of states that have filed a lawsuit over the Trump administration’s new "public charge" rule, which would make it easier for immigrants to be denied green cards if they are seen as likely to use public services.
In the suit, the states blasted the new rule rolled out Monday as “unlawful” and said it “uproots the understanding of public charge as primary dependence on the government.”
“In the Rule, Defendants illegally expand the circumstances in which DHS may deny individuals’ admission to the United States on 'public charge' grounds, when seeking an extension of stay, change of visa category, or lawful permanent resident status,” the suit states.
“The rule stacks the deck against marginalized populations, such as children, students, individuals with disabilities, older adults, and low-wage working families,” the states continued in the lawsuit, accusing the Trump administration of “creating new bars” with the rule that have not been authorized by Congress, such as “making a low income a 'heavily weighted' negative factor in admissibility.”
“The rule also penalizes immigrants who use common, non-cash federal public benefit programs,” the states also said in the suit, added that “overall, the rule represents a radical departure in the treatment of low- and moderate-income immigrants, whom the United States has historically welcomed.”
Attorney General of California Xavier BecerraXavier BecerraKamala Harris engages with heckler during New York speech The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Uber - Manchin, Sanders in budget feud; Biden still upbeat FDA proposes rule to offer over-the-counter hearing aids MORE (D), who filed the suit, told the Los Angeles Times in a statement that the “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.”
“In California we know that welcoming and investing in all communities makes our entire nation stronger,” Becerra added. “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.”
California Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomEquilibrium/Sustainability — Presented by Southern Company — Ivory poaching changes evolution of elephants California regulator proposes ban on oil drilling near schools, hospitals, homes Biden says he would tap National Guard to help with supply chain issues MORE (D) also took aim at the rule in a statement obtained by the paper, saying: “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.”
“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,” he added.
The suit comes two days after 13 other states also filed a joint legal challenge over the new policy.