News ID: 257340
Published: 0418 GMT August 15, 2019

13 US states sue Trump administration over new rule to limit legal immigration

13 US states sue Trump administration over new rule to limit legal immigration

A coalition of 13 US states have filed a lawsuit against the administration President Donald Trump, seeking to block a new rule that would significantly reduce legal immigration by denying visas to poor migrants.

The lawsuit was filed on Wednesday in a federal court in Spokane, Washington, suing the US Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

The lawsuit is similar to one filed on Tuesday by the city of San Francisco in California, Presstv Reported.

The 13 states said in their lawsuit that the new rule “effects a radical overhaul of federal immigration law transforming a system that promotes economic mobility among immigrants into one that advantages immigrants with wealth.”

“The Trump Administration’s message is clear: if you’re wealthy you’re welcome, if you’re poor, you’re not,” Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson said in a statement. “This rule is un-American, anti-immigrant and unlawful.”

The other states joining Washington in the lawsuit are Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Rhode Island and Virginia.

The new rule, which was unveiled on Monday and takes effect October 15, would reject applicants for temporary or permanent visas for failing to meet income standards or for receiving government assistance such as welfare, Medicaid, food stamps and public housing.

Some experts say the rule could cut legal immigration in half by denying visas and permanent residency to hundreds of thousands of people.

Federal law already requires those seeking green cards and legal status to prove they will not be a burden to the US, but the new rule expands the definition of a “public charge” and stands to disqualify more people.

USCIS will now weigh public assistance along with other factors such as education, household income and health to determine whether to grant legal status.

The overhaul is part of Trump’s efforts to curb both legal and illegal immigration, an issue he has made a cornerstone of his presidency.

The new rule comes as Trump is facing growing criticism for his divisive rhetoric that critics say is encouraging racism and violence against Hispanic immigrants.

Trump has repeatedly used violent rhetoric when discussing immigration and the border, some of which was echoed by the “manifesto” that investigators believe was written by the suspected shooter who killed 22 people August 3 in El Paso, Texas.



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