San Francisco sues Trump Administration over immigrant welfare use

San Francisco and Santa Clara counties on Tuesday filed the first lawsuit against the Trump Administration over a new regulation that allows federal officials to deny green cards or entry into the country to immigrants who use government aid programs like food stamps, Medicaid and housing assistance. [The Hill]

On Monday, the Trump Administration released the final version of the “public charge” rule, which will cause participation in federal programs to be deemed a negative factor when officials determine whether an immigrant should be granted a green card or visa. The Trump Administration argues the rule change promotes self-sufficiency and personal responsibility.

The two Bay Area counties responded by filing a lawsuit in the District Court for the Northern District of California. The suit seeks to postpone the implementation of the public charge rule, which is currently set to take effect on Oct. 15.

In the complaint, the counties allege the rule change harms safety net programs, and the projected decrease in use of public services by noncitizens as a result of the regulation will increase risks to public health. Likewise, the lawsuit alleges the new rule violates federal law and usurps congressional authority by “administratively repealing its longstanding family-based immigration system.”

San Francisco and Santa Clara counties claim the rule is also unlawful because it conflicts with the broader congressional framework of U.S. immigration law. The two counties previously successfully sued the Trump Administration over a rule that would have taken federal funding away from “sanctuary cities,” which refuse to enforce federal immigration laws.

Other opponents of the public charge rule, including the National Immigration Law Center, are expected to sue the administration over the new regulation, as well.