States team up against White House immigrant benefits rule

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Print this page Email A Friend!


LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — A coalition of states sued US President Donald Trump's Administration yesterday over its new “public charge” rule that aims to deny permanent residency and citizenship to immigrants who claim welfare benefits.

The attorneys general of California, Maine, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit at a federal court in San Francisco stating that the rule is unconstitutional and disproportionately targets non-white immigrants.

“It's remarkable what this Administration is up to — it's insidious beyond words and California will have none of it,” California Governor Gavin Newsom said at a news conference in Sacramento.

The new White House rule, which affects immigrants who receive food stamps, public health care and other assistance, threatens to set back the citizenship hopes of millions of mostly Hispanic migrants.

The lawsuit argues that it “stacks the deck” against marginalised people including children, the elderly and low-wage families.

“The rule was motivated by intentional race- and national origin-based animus against individuals from what President Trump has referred to as 'sh*#-hole countries',” it states.

The White House announced Monday its new definition of the long-standing “public charge” law.

The term “public charge” in modern times has usually been defined as someone who is primarily dependent on the Government.

The new criteria means 22 million non-citizen residents of the United States who are using public services such as food stamps and public health care will not be able to obtain green cards or US citizenship.

In addition, migrants will not be granted resident visas if they are deemed too poor and likely to need public assistance.

“To protect benefits for American citizens, immigrants must be financially self-sufficient,” Trump said in a White House statement.

The new standards would apply to non-citizen residents who use public services repeatedly after October 15, 2019.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who filed the lawsuit, said: “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,” he added. “We will fight this unlawful rule every step of the way.”

California is home to more than 10 million immigrants — nearly a quarter of its population, and the largest immigrant population in the US.

Becerra said further lawsuits would be filed by other states, as well as individuals and organisations.


Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaperlive


ADVERTISEMENT




POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT