New York Attorney General Letitia James and Connecticut Attorney General William Tong have teamed up to sue the Trump administration over its rule that would deny citizenship and permanent residency to low-income immigrants who rely on federal welfare benefits, including food stamps and government-subsidized housing.
James filed the lawsuit in the Southern District of New York, arguing that the rule would have a negative impact on the economy and specifically target nonwhite and low-income immigrants.
“Generations of citizens landed on the welcoming shores of Ellis Island with nothing more than a dream in their pockets,” James said. “The Trump administration’s thinly veiled efforts to only allow those who meet their narrow ethnic, racial and economic criteria to gain a path to citizenship is a clear violation of our laws and our values. Quite simply, under this rule, more children will go hungry, more families will go without medical care and more people will be living in the shadows and on the streets. We cannot and we will not let that happen.”
“The Public Charge Rule is a partisan scheme to vilify immigrants who, like generations of families before them, seek support to lift their families out of poverty,” said Tong. “We are talking about access to doctors, healthy food and safe housing – the most basic foundations that kids need to grow and thrive. Today, Connecticut joins states across the country in defending access to the American Dream. This rule is yet another cruel and unconstitutional racist ploy to intimidate and penalize immigrants of color. It cannot stand.”
James and Tong are joined in their lawsuit by Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan and the municipal government of New York City.