California Attorney General Files 51-Page Comment Against the Trump Administration’s Proposed ‘Public Charge’ Rule

Earlier this year, a draft proposal leaked regarding the Trump Administration’s plan to punish immigrants for using basic social services. By dramatically broadening the definition of a ‘public charge’, the administration seeks to reduce the number of immigrants who are eligible for green cards. Under the proposed rules, immigrants could be deemed ineligible for a green card simply because they or their child required health services.  

California — the most popular state for immigrants — would be hit particularly hard by this cruel and ill-advised proposal. State leaders are prepared to fight back. On December 10th, California California Attorney General Xavier Becerra submitted an official comment, forcefully arguing against the proposed public charge rule.

A full copy of the 51-page comment submitted by the office of Xavier Becerra has been published by CALMatters —  a nonpartisan, nonprofit journalism venture focused on California government and politics. The comment can be accessed here.

Why the Government Should Reject the New Public Charge Rule

In the comment, California’s Attorney General carefully lays out the case why the Trump Administration’s rule change should be rejected. It is bad policy – not just for immigrants, but also for our state and for our country. Among other reasons, this public charge rule should be rejected because:

  • It disproportionately affects working immigrants and people of color;
  • It threatens to undermine the financial security of many California families;
  • It creates a widespread chilling effect, potentially resulting in low income immigrants forgoing benefits that they are entitled to receive; and
  • It is aimed at punishing some of the most vulnerable people in society.

The impacts of this are not merely theoretical. There is already strong evidence to support the claim that President Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric alone has caused immigrants to drop out of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Could the Trump Administration’s Public Charge Rule Be Deemed Unconstitutional?

The rule change is not yet finalized. Litigation is expected. Many legal scholars believe that the Trump Administration’s proposed public charge rule change is unconstitutional. Indeed, Attorney General Xavier Becerra explicitly makes the argument that the proposed rule change violates the United States Constitution. Beyond harming state policy and being an ill-advised and cruel proposal, the California Attorney General also argues that the administration is violating the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). Though, even if the administration prevails in an eventual lawsuit, the new public charge rule is harmful policy. Changes must be made. It is imperative that elected representatives take action to protect immigrants.

Get Help From Our Los Angeles Immigration Lawyer Today

At the Law Office of Joshua L. Goldstein, PC, we are committed to providing the best legal representation to immigrants and their loved ones. For immediate assistance with your immigration law case, please do not hesitate to contact our law office today by calling us at (213) 262-2000. We serve communities all over Southern California, including in Los Angeles County, Orange County, and Riverside County.