Thirteen states led by Washington Attorney General Robert Ferguson (D) filed a lawsuit Wednesday over the Trump administration's new "public charge" rule. The states are suing the Department of Homeland Security over the new rule that expands the government's ability to deny entry or green cards to legal immigrants based on their use of public services like food stamps and Medicaid. The rule, announced Monday, is set to go into effect on Oct. 15.
Wednesday's lawsuit, co-led by Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, is the first to be filed by states against the rule and the second overall challenge since the government rolled out the rule. The other attorneys general filing suit include those from Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, and Rhode Island, as reported by The Hill. Following the recent trend of forum shopping in the hopes of finding judges likely to rule in their favor, representatives for Santa Clara County and San Francisco filed a suit on Tuesday seeking a temporary injunction in the District Court for the Northern District of California.
Ferguson said the rule is unlawful as it changes the “longstanding meaning” of the term “public charge,” arguing that it violates the Immigration and Nationality Act. He wrote in a 169-page complaint,
The rule is arbitrary, capricious, and an abuse of discretion because—among other reasons—it reverses a decades-old, consistent policy without reasoned analysis . . . It forces families into an impossible choice — to sacrifice their dream of becoming Americans in order to provide health care, food or a roof over their children’s heads, or let their families go without in order to remain in the country. This rule is un-American, anti-immigrant and unlawful. I intend to stop it.
The Trump administration has defended the rule change as a way to promote “the ideals of self-sufficiency and personal responsibility.” Trump has sought several means of curtailing illegal immigration during his presidency — the majority of those efforts have been met with legal challenges.
For more on this story, please visit The Hill.
Updated: Fri, Aug 30th 2019 @ 11:50am EDT