California, Oregon, Maine and Pennsylvania filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration to challenge a new law that could deny green cards to immigrants receiving public assistance.
The new rules, which are set to take effect in October, are expected to impact over 400,000 people and don’t apply to those who have come to the United States as refugees or asylum seekers. The rules would broaden the range of programs that would disqualify immigrants from receiving green cards if they are deemed a burden to the United States.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said the new rules create unnecessary challenges for immigrants who wish to live legally in the United States. He said the rules also discourage them from using health, nutrition, housing and other programs because they’re afraid doing so will erode their chances of being granted legal status.
“This cruel policy would force working parents and families across the nation to forego basic necessities like food, housing, and health care out of fear. That is simply unacceptable,” Becerra said.
Becerra’s mother was born in Mexico and came to the U.S. after marrying his father and likely would have been affected by the new policy, he said.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom said that immigrants built the country and help power the economy.
“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,” Newsom said. “This new rule designed to create fear in immigrant families is cruel and threatens our public health.”
Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) also opposes the new rules.
Lee said, “This rule will hurt thousands of immigrant families across the country, including many here in the East Bay, as they try to provide for themselves and keep food on the table. Denying immigrants visas and green cards because they need help is wrong and xenophobic.”