Santa Clara, San Francisco Sue Trump Admin Over Public Charge Rule

Santa Clara County and San Francisco filed a lawsuit last week against the Trump administration over a new policy that could stymie legal immigration by those receiving public assistance and discourage others from seeking government help.

The administration’s new policy expands the definition of “public charge,” a legal term used to describe immigrants who are primarily dependent on government assistance. Under U.S. law, these individuals can be denied visas, green cards, or permanent residency.

Historically, the term only applied to those receiving significant levels of assistance, according to the suit. Under the policy change, which takes effect in October, immigrants receiving SNAP benefits or those on Medicaid would fall under this category.

“This is just a new front in the Trump administration's aggressive, foolish, misguided attacks on immigrant families," James Williams, counsel for Santa Clara County, told CBS News

San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera called it a cruel and unlawful move that promotes bigotry. 

Santa Clara and San Francisco officials worry that by discouraging immigrants from seeking medical or nutritive assistance, the federal government will create a health crisis directly affecting cities and counties.

“As a result, the Final Rule will worsen the health and well-being of the Counties’ residents, increase risks to public health, undermine the Counties’ health and safety-net systems, and inflict significant financial harm on the Counties,” the lawsuit states.

Administration officials say it is important that all immigrants— whether legal or illegal — be self-sufficient.

Read the complaint here


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