Here Is the Multistate Lawsuit That California Filed Against Trump’s ‘Public Charge’ Immigration Rule

Aug 19, 2019
9:52 AM

In case you started your weekend early last week, the state of California filed a multistate lawsuit on Friday against the Trump administration, challenging the new “public charge” rule that would limit benefits to immigrants who are “doing it the right way.” Maine, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia joined California in support of the lawsuit.

This is the full lawsuit:

The lawsuit,which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, “claims the Rule targets working immigrants and their families by creating unnecessary new barriers to lawful admission to the United States,” according to a media release from the office of California Attorney General Xavier Becerra.

“The Rule discourages hardworking eligible immigrants and their families from accessing critical health, nutrition, and housing programs that supplement their modest wages and help them make ends meet,” the release adds. “The Rule creates such a strict standard that, if it were applied to citizens across the country, a substantial portion would be considered likely to be a ‘public charge’.”

“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 the release. “In California we know that welcoming and investing in all communities makes our entire nation stronger. 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.”

“Immigrants literally built this nation, and today help make California an economic engine that powers our country,” California Governor Gavin Newsom said in the release. “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. We’re standing up to the Trump Administration in court to protect our economy, our families, and our most sacred values.”

The lawsuit argues that the public charge rule if a violation of the Fifth Amendment and equal protecting, saying that it “will disproportionately block admission of non-white, non-European immigrants from Asia, Latin America, and Africa. It will also prevent higher numbers of immigrants of color from extending their visas or becoming lawful permanent residents, and ultimately create more obstacles in the path to U.S. citizenship.”

In addition, the lawsuit calls the public charge rule “arbitrary and capricious,” saying that it “punishes immigrants for participating in widely used public benefits programs that are designed to mitigate economic inequality and bolster self-sufficiency, particularly among low wage workers.”