Santa Clara County, SF sue Trump administration over 'public charge' restrictions on immigrants


Santa Clara County and the city of San Francisco sued the administration of President Donald Trump in federal court Tuesday to challenge a new rule that makes it harder low-income legal immigrants to remain in the U.S.

County Counsel James Williams and City Attorney Dennis Herrera claim the rule is illegal and was also enacted in violation of the requirements of a federal administrative procedure act. They filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in San Francisco.

"This illegal rule is yet another attempt to vilify immigrants," Herrera stated. "It makes it easier to unfairly target hard-working, lawful immigrants while sowing fear and confusion in our communities."

The administrative rule, which goes into effect on Oct. 15, requires immigration officials to consider whether legal immigrants seeking visa extensions or permanent residency have obtained or are likely to obtain government aid for food, housing or health care.

The rule would expand on a decades-long interpretation of a federal immigration law provision that requires officials to consider whether an immigrant would be a "public charge."

Previously, the provision was interpreted to apply only to immigrants who received cash welfare payments or were cared for in government-funded institutions.

The measure would now extend to immigrants who use or might use food stamps, other nutrition assistance, subsidized housing or Medicaid.

The lawsuit claims the rule contradicts "the plain meaning, longstanding administrative interpretation, legislative history, statutory context and case law" of the "public charge" term in the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act.

It alleges the rule would force legal immigrants to forgo needed services for fear of jeopardizing their status and would end up requiring local governments to pay more for services such as emergency room care, while increasing the risk of contagious diseases.

"It will hurt all members of our communities by reducing access to critical health and safety-net services that create healthier communities for all of our residents," Williams said in a statement.

Acting U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Ken Cuccinelli, in announcing the rule on Monday, said it will promote American ideals of self-reliance and self-sufficiency.

The defendants in the lawsuit are Citizen and Immigration Services, the Department of Homeland Security, Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenen and Cuccinelli.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed said in a statement, "This lawsuit is about protecting our residents and standing up against a policy that will have devastating effects on the well-being of many San Franciscans."

— Bay City News Service

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32 people like this
Posted by About Time
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Aug 14, 2019 at 7:08 am

I think it's a good law. When my grandparents immigrated, they were only allowed to do so after proving they were economically self-sufficient. My mother-in-law's residential medical facility has a long waiting list while many of the current residents are newly-arrived immigrants. Stop by the MV senior center and watch all the Mercedes Benzes pulll in to load up their cars with free groceries. Then there's my neighbor at Apple who's father comes over from India and is always lined up for the free lunches offered. It all might very well be legal, but such funding and services should be tied to real need balanced against a families income.

12 people like this
Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Aug 14, 2019 at 8:10 am

Gary is a registered user.

The legal issue for the Court, of course, is not whose interpretation of the law would be better for this country - but what interpretation is correct. Laws are interpreted according to rules of construction that start with the words used and include any stated legislative intent. The real world effect of one interpretation over another is only relevant insofar as it illuminates the legislative intent at the time of enactment. The debate over who should be allowed to immigrate here is mainly for choosing members of Congress and a President. It is a debate advocates of "no borders" would lose in swing states. Democrats advocating "no borders" or taking care of 6 billion exploited humans from other countries could yet hand re-election (selection by the electoral college) to Donald Trump.

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Posted by myths and lies
a resident of The Crossings
on Aug 14, 2019 at 9:18 am

> they were only allowed to do so after proving they were economically self-sufficient

What? When did they come to America?

> watch all the Mercedes Benzes pulll in to load up their cars with free groceries

Wow. Congrats. Reagan's lie - the mythical welfare queen in a Caddy lives!

> Democrats advocating "no borders"

Other than racists, I rarely hear this. Who are the Democrats advocating "no borders"?

Please list the ten most powerful Democrats advocating "no borders".

13 people like this
Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Aug 14, 2019 at 9:54 am

Gary is a registered user.

@ Myths and lies. Activists and politicians are rarely so foolish as to use to term "no borders." Trumpsters use it openly. But let's get down to immigration policy. On what bases should outsiders be admitted? That they are poor or exploited? That they are criminals or civilized? That they are foreign agents or protesters? Rich or talented? Arriving on foot or by jet? 6 billion people - at least - would come to and stay in America if allowed. Which ones would you propose to turn away? Any?

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Posted by myths and lies
a resident of The Crossings
on Aug 14, 2019 at 10:51 am

> "On what bases (sic) should outsiders be admitted?"

According to the Trumpsters, if you spend money with them, they should get in on Third Base - "In a Beijing ballroom, Kushner family pushes $500,000 ‘investor visa’ to wealthy Chinese" Web Link

So my answer is: they should enter at the batter's box, not first base, and certainly not on Trump/Kushner's third base reserved for grifters.

But I appreciate your admitting the open border/no border thing is just right wing lies.


>6 billion people - at least - would come to and stay in America if allowed

6 billion out of 7.5 billion? 80% of the world (at least!) would come if allowed?

Sorry, why on earth should I entertain your questions when you live in a reality of "alternate facts"? At least 80%?!?!?

14 people like this
Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Aug 14, 2019 at 11:51 am

Gary is a registered user.

Bases is plural. You have no immigration policy to propose.. Clear enough.

6 people like this
Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Aug 14, 2019 at 11:59 am

Gary is a registered user.

The proper plural of basis though is spelled basis. What basis do you propose for the admission of immigrants? And name 8 countries with persons who would not want to live to the USA instead. 6 billion out of 7.5 billion is well short of the number who would cone here if they could.

6 people like this
Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Aug 14, 2019 at 12:10 pm

Gary is a registered user.

Well. Most dictionaries just have the plural of basis as bases. Something "myths and lies" has not articulated. But that is okay. It is easier to oppose than propose.

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Posted by myths and lies
a resident of The Crossings
on Aug 14, 2019 at 12:31 pm

Geez, I stayed in the bball theme - complete with the Trump/Kushner ilk born on third base, selling immigration status, and everything. No appreciation?


I prefer the republican plan. The one that Dubya and McCain supported. The one lite Lindsey (Vlad now has pictures of me) Graham used to support.

Current republicans have no plan. They had total control of the government for Trump's first two years and passed NOTHING. Their only plan is to keep their low IQ base in fear.

80%+ of the world wants to leave their homes and come to America. Where's your numbers/validation of that claim? Or do you just "feel" it's true?

6 people like this
Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Aug 14, 2019 at 12:45 pm

Gary is a registered user.

How many persons in China (mainland), Russia under Putin and Africa (I know it is not a country) would prefer to stay there? I cannot ask them. But what do you think? The privileged few would stay put. The rest would likely come here for a better life. But let's imagine for the moment that 80% of the world's population would not want to come here. Say only a billion wanted to live in the USA. Should this country admit them all or do what everyone does several times every waking minute: DISCRIMINATE? Pick and choose - based on some principle(s). You can have the last word if you like.

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Posted by myths and lies
a resident of The Crossings
on Aug 14, 2019 at 1:09 pm

> You can have the last word if you like.

Thanks. Already posited the republican plans of Dubya, etc..

just for grins, the false framing (open borders, 6 billion coming, conflating migrants as criminals, etc..) and ignoring the fact that big business owns the GOP and WANTS all this cheap labor, hinders the ability to take your positions seriously. Just my $.02

Have a good day.

Like this comment
Posted by Editor
a resident of Bailey Park
on Aug 14, 2019 at 1:47 pm

“makes it harder low-income legal immigrants to remain”

Something missing here?

14 people like this
Posted by psr
a resident of The Crossings
on Aug 14, 2019 at 5:17 pm

psr is a registered user.

Nobody on the right conflated migrants and criminals. Trump specifically said he wanted to keep out MS13 and the Left has been claiming he called all migrants criminals ever since. There is nothing crazy about not wanting to allow criminals to come into the country.

Nobody on the right said "6 billion people are coming". Conservatives have asked rhetorical questions about how many people the Left thinks are "enough" immigrants without getting any numbers or reasonable responses. There is nothing odd about asking such a question. With calls to give more and more "free" (read : taxpayer paid for) services to people coming here by the Left, fiscal conservatives are entitled to ask what the limit is. There is no such thing as "free". The money is taken from someone to provide these benefits.

Nobody on the right said that the Left is saying openly that they want open borders. They are questioning what standards for immigration the Left wants. Since there have been no limits stated by anyone on the Left regarding any limits (indeed, lawsuits like this one support the premise that the Left thinks that anyone who wants to be here should be allowed in), we can only assume that the answer is "None". Can you point to a single liberal who has cited a limit? I haven't seen one.

As for wanting "cheap labor, every business run for profit wants that. The difference is, under the current administration, we have record employment for essentially every category you care to name. We also have more jobs than people to fill them, which drives wages UP, which the Left claims to want.

Legal immigrants are supposed to be able to support themselves. The law has been on the books for well over 100 years. You cannot, in one breath, claim that immigrants make the country stronger and also whine when the rules require that they should be able to contribute their fair share to society. The law doesn't apply to refugees, who should be able to prove their case in order to stay (i.e. economic hardship is NOT a valid claim for a refugee).

My relatives got here over 100 years ago. They were required to have a friend or relative sponsor them and to have a place to stay when they got here. They had to work to support themselves as there was no welfare system. They were farmers, sharecroppers, barbers, cooks, laborers, etc. to provide for themselves. Why should the standards be lowered now? How does a societal dependent contribute to the country? Who pocket do you want to pick to provide the funds for this?

Be honest and deal with these real questions rather than resorting to name-calling and misdirection.

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