The Trump administration’s discriminatory rule change attacking both the legal immigration system and working immigrant families for legally accessing services—or the possibility that they might legally access services—is now facing a court challenge, following a lawsuit from two California counties.
“Lawyers for Santa Clara County and San Francisco said the Trump administration is trying to scare immigrants away from desperately needed public assistance,” The Washington Post reports, “and they warn that the broader community could suffer from higher local assistance costs or the spread of diseases due to a lack of health care.” Advocates have noted that the rule change was scaring families away even when it was just in proposal form.
“The administration unveiled the proposed rule last October. It was around that time that the staff at the QueensCare Health Center in East Los Angeles noticed a rash of cancellations,” LAist reported earlier this month. “Individuals didn’t want to come in to the clinic, so they were canceling appointments,” said the clinic’s Daisy Salinas. “And there were lots of inquiries regarding public charge.”
White House aide and white supremacist Stephen Miller reportedly “badgered” officials into implementing the plan, and he got what he wanted: the administration went ahead with the proposal even though the overwhelming majority of the 266,000 public comments were in opposition to the rule change, and even though “it’s well documented that immigrants use welfare and public benefits at a far lower rate than do native born Americans,” immigration attorney David Leopold noted.
That’s because it’s not really about resources, but about attacking immigrants. The administration is making it clear it wants to wall us off from the world, but if it has to take any immigrants, it wants rich, white ones. “This illegal rule is yet another attempt to vilify immigrants,” said San Francisco city attorney Dennis Herrera. “It makes it easier to unfairly target hard-working, lawful immigrants while sowing fear and confusion in our communities.”