Attorney General James works to reverse Trump immigration rule

Regional News

FILE- In this Aug. 6, 2020 file photo, New York State Attorney General Letitia James takes a question at a news conference in New York. Federal regulators and a group of states launched a landmark antitrust offensive against Facebook, accusing the social network of abusing its market power in social networking to crush smaller competitors. “It’s really critically important that we block this predatory acquisition of companies and that we restore confidence to the market,” said James during a press conference announcing the lawsuit. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)

NEW YORK (NEWS10) – New York Attorney General Letitia James on Tuesday helped to restore a ruling against the continued use of the Public Charge Rule that was created by the Trump Administration. The Public Charge Rule denied green cards and visas to immigrants that use or have used certain government assistance programs.

The Biden-Harris Administration’s U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) agreed with the Office of the New York Attorney General (OAG) to reject the DOJ’s pending appeal before the U.S. Supreme Court. That dismissal effectively lifted a previous decision that the Supreme Court had issued. And, it restored an initial decision against the Rule that the OAG had obtained in October 2019 and defended on appeal in August 2020.

“Today, we dismissed this case and restored the preliminary injunction that ensures that those living in New York and in other states do not have to choose between their immigration status and securing the necessary support to survive. Our immigrant neighbors seeking to make a better life for themselves deserve more than living in the shadows and on the streets, which is why the Trump Administration’s Public Charge Rule was nothing more than an egregious attempt to infringe upon the laws and the values of this nation. Quite simply, today, fewer children will go hungry and more families will get the medical care they desperately need. We look forward to continuing to work with the Biden-Harris Administration as we bring more immigrants out of the shadows and help rebuild our economy, as well as our nation’s public health.”

NY Attorney General Letitia James

Federal law allows lawful immigrants to apply for certain supplemental health and nutritional public benefits if they have been in the country for at least five years. But, in August 2019, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued a Public Charge Rule that altered the original meaning of public charge. Originally, it had been established that immigrants who use certain supplemental benefits are not considered public charges because they are not primarily dependent on the government for survival.

The OAG says this “bait-and-switch” jeopardized immigrants’ chances of becoming legal permanent residents or renewing their visas if they used the supplemental benefits they were legally allowed to use.

In August 2019, Attorney General James filed a lawsuit to stop the Trump Administration’s Public Charge Rule.

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