Legal challenge filed to public charge rule

Politics

In this Jan. 31, 2019, file photo, hundreds of people overflow onto the sidewalk in a line snaking around the block outside a U.S. immigration office with numerous courtrooms in San Francisco. Santa Clara and San Francisco have filed suit against the Trump administration over its new controversial “public charge” rule that restricts legal immigration. This lawsuit is the first after the Department of Homeland Security’s announcement Monday, Aug. 12, 2019, that it would deny green cards to migrants who use Medicaid, food stamps, housing vouchers or other forms of public assistance. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — An organization advocating for low-wage immigrants has filed a legal challenge to a Trump administration rule that may deny green cards to immigrants who use public services.

Georgetown Law school’s Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection and CASA filed a legal challenge in U.S. federal court Monday. Lawyers say changes to the so-called “public charge” rule violate due process under the U.S. Constitution.

Federal law already requires those seeking to become permanent residents or gain legal status to prove they will not be a burden to the U.S. — a “public charge,” in government speak. But the new rules detail a broader range of programs that could disqualify them, including Medicaid, food stamps and housing vouchers.

CASA officials say their members are already stopping to use benefits out of fear.

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