New York, Connecticut and Vermont Sue Trump Administration Over Public Charge Rule

August 20, 2019 by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON — New York State, Connecticut, Vermont and the City of New York sued the Trump administration Tuesday over its new Public Charge Rule, which aims to deny green cards and visas to immigrants that use or have used government assistance programs.

“Generations of citizens landed on the welcoming shores of Ellis Island with nothing more than a dream in their pockets,” said New York Attorney General Letitia James in announcing the lawsuit in the Southern District of New York.

“The Trump Administration’s thinly veiled efforts to only allow those who meet their narrow ethnic, racial and economic criteria to gain a path to citizenship is a clear violation of our laws and our values,” she continued. “Quite simply, under this rule, more children will go hungry, more families will go without medical care and more people will be living in the shadows and on the streets. We cannot and we will not let that happen.”

The lawsuit claims that by imposing the rule, the Trump administration and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security disregarded clear congressional intent and a century’s worth of case law holding that immigrants who use basic, non-cash benefits are not considered public charges because they are not primarily dependent on the government.

Additionally, the plaintiffs say, the public charge rule weaponizes the public charge inquiry to specifically target immigrants of color, immigrants with disabilities, and low-income immigrants.

Finally, the rule fundamentally misunderstands that these non-cash programs are designed to help immigrants who arrive in this country with limited means move out of poverty and achieve upward mobility, the plaintiffs claim.

They also assert the overall health and wellbeing of immigrant communities that use vital public benefit programs will be negatively impacted by the new rule.

The plaintiffs claim the rule would cause a sharp decline in Medicaid enrollment, and individuals who would have otherwise had access to healthcare are at risk of living with undiagnosed and untreated conditions.

Economically, impacted communities can be expected to experience increased poverty rates, housing instability, a reduced workforce, and an overall decrease in total economic productivity, the lawsuit claims.

“The new ‘public charge’ rule creates fear, confusion, and distress for our immigrant communities,” said NYC Corporation Counsel Zachary Carter.

“The new rule broadens the definition of a public charge, increasing the number of non-citizens who may be found inadmissible, denied a green card, or denied a visa on public charge grounds. As a result of this new rule, families may forego benefits and services to which they are legally entitled because they fear that accepting those benefits or services may jeopardize their ability or the ability of family members to stay in the United States.,” Carter said. “In this lawsuit, the City will challenge the new rule on the grounds that it violates the federal Administrative Procedure Act and the Constitution. The City will defend immigrant New Yorkers from this unlawful expansion of the public charge rule.”

This case is being handled by Senior Trial Counsel Elena Goldstein, Civil Enforcement Section Chief of the Labor Bureau Ming-Qi Chu, and Assistant Attorneys General Abigail Rosner, Amanda Meyer, and Ajay Saini, under the supervision of Chief Counsel for Federal Initiatives Matthew Colangelo. 

Immigration

Feds Restore Protections for Undocumented Immigrants With Serious Illnesses Immigration
Feds Restore Protections for Undocumented Immigrants With Serious Illnesses

MIAMI — The Trump administration reversed itself Thursday and said it will again allow immigrants who are facing serious illnesses to remain in the U.S. to get medical care without fear of deportation. A month ago, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that the long-standing policy... Read More

Border Wall Said to Threaten 22 Archaeological Sites in Arizona In The News
Border Wall Said to Threaten 22 Archaeological Sites in Arizona

WASHINGTON — The construction of President Donald Trump’s border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border could damage — or even destroy — up to 22 archaeological sites at the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in Arizona, according to a report from the National Park Service that was... Read More

Supreme Court Rules for Trump on Asylum Ban at Southern Border Immigration
Supreme Court Rules for Trump on Asylum Ban at Southern Border

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled for President Donald Trump and cleared the way for his administration to enforce a ban on nearly all asylum-seekers arriving at the southern border. The justices by a 7-2 vote granted an emergency appeal from Trump’s lawyers and... Read More

Tent Courthouses for Migrants to Open Along Texas Border Immigration
Tent Courthouses for Migrants to Open Along Texas Border

LAREDO, Texas — Workers climbed atop a massive new U.S. immigration tent court on the banks of the Rio Grande at dawn Monday, adding the last few nails to the white roof, as generators hummed. A line of people snaked across the nearby border bridge, streaming... Read More

Federal Judge Reinstates Nationwide Injunction Against Trump’s Asylum Rule Immigration
Federal Judge Reinstates Nationwide Injunction Against Trump’s Asylum Rule

SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge reinstated a nationwide injunction Monday against a Trump administration rule that would deny asylum to most immigrants at the southern border. U.S. District Judge Jon S. Tigar, citing the need for a uniform immigration policy, issued a 14-page decision explaining... Read More

Judge Leans Toward Blocking Trump Asylum Restriction Nationwide Immigration
Judge Leans Toward Blocking Trump Asylum Restriction Nationwide

SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge signaled he will probably block the Trump administration from enforcing restrictions on asylum applications anywhere along the Mexican border while the legality of the policy announced in July is being challenged. U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar said at a hearing... Read More

Straight From The Well
scroll top