California counties sue Trump over 'aggressive, foolish, misguided attacks on immigrant families'


The lawsuit takes aim at the new 'public charge' rule released on Monday.

Two California counties filed a lawsuit Tuesday seeking to block the Trump administration's new "public charge" rule, CBS News reported.

The new rule, slated to go into effect in October, would penalize low-income immigrants and families who may need public assistance by denying visas and green cards based on their use of benefits. In addition to whether or not an individual uses benefits such as public housing or food assistance, the government might subject some immigrants to tests to see how well they can speak and read English.

"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. Santa Clara joined San Francisco county in filing a lawsuit to block the new rule.

Rep. Judy Chu, a leading Democratic congresswoman from California, slammed the new rule in a Monday statement.

The new rule will only "frighten immigrants already here and contributing from accessing the benefits they are legally entitled to — benefits that are proven successful at helping millions stay out of poverty and put their children on a path to a better future," Chu said.

"The effect is never to actually improve our immigration system, only to increase xenophobia and bigotry," she added. "The result is more hunger and more sickness, all so Trump can add a new bigoted line to his campaign speeches."

The California counties claim the Trump administration did not adhere to the Administrative Procedure Act, because the massive changes to the immigration system are not justified, according to CBS.

In defending the rule change, Ken Cuccinelli, acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, proposed new words for the Statue of Liberty regarding immigrants coming to America's shores. Rather than the tired and poor "huddled masses yearning to breathe free," Cuccinelli suggests, "Give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge."

The state of California has sued the Trump administration at least 50 times, so far winning half the time and losing only three times, according to a tally from May 2019.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.