SACRAMENTO – Painting it as an economic threat and a cruel attack on immigrants, California sued Friday to stop the Trump administration’s new “public charge rule” that allows the government to deny green cards to people relying on some forms of public assistance.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra (pictured above) said Trump’s attempt to redefine the definition of a “public charge” is a direct threat to California and its immigrant population of over 10 million. Becerra, the son of immigrants, called the rule “personal” and accused the administration of being “cowardly.”
“I can boil down to four words what it took President Trump and Trump administration 837 pages to say: They don’t like immigrants,” Becerra said during a press conference at the state Capitol.
The federal lawsuit filed in the Northern District of California marks the 56th time Becerra has sued the Trump administration and it comes just four days after the White House announced the new rule.
Under the rule, federal officials will look at whether a prospective green card or visa recipient is benefiting from a federal program like SNAP or Medicaid, as well as if the person is likely to do so in the future. The administration claims the rule is good for taxpayers, ensuring that immigrants who “stand on their own two feet, who will not be reliant on the welfare system” get green cards or visas.
California’s Democratic governor applauded Becerra for swiftly filing the lawsuit and then accused the president of having a “particular problem with brown people.”
“It’s remarkable what this administration is up to, it’s insidious beyond words and California will have none of it,” said Gov. Gavin Newsom.
The District of Columbia and the states of Maine, Oregon and Pennsylvania joined California in the lawsuit, which names the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, along with the agencies’ directors as defendants. San Francisco and Santa Clara counties filed a similar lawsuit in the same court earlier this week, as did Washington state joined by 12 others.
The plaintiffs argue that the administration “illegally expanded” the circumstances in which federal officials can deny immigrants admission to the country. They want the court to freeze the rule on grounds that it violates the Administrative Procedure Act and Equal Protection Clause.
“The rule uproots the understanding of public charge as primary dependence on the government, creating new bars that have not been authorized by Congress, such as making low income a ‘heavily weighted’ negative factor in admissibility,” California’s lawsuit states.
As home to the largest immigrant population of any state, California’s Democratic leaders say the rule could have devastating economic, public health and social costs by pushing immigrants away from public benefits.
Nearly 25% of the country’s immigrants reside in California, and almost half of California children have at least one immigrant parent, according to the complaint. In 2015, the Legislature extended Medi-Cal coverage to low-income immigrants under the age of 18, and earlier this year Newsom signed a bill expanding coverage to people ages 19-25.
“The negative public health repercussions of reduced access to health care, housing and proper nutrition will ultimately be paid for by plaintiffs,” the complaint continues.
While announcing the rule Monday, Ken Cuccinelli, the acting director of immigration services, told reporters that the move “encourages and ensures self-reliance and self-sufficiency.” Cuccinelli then made waves during a follow-up interview on CNN when he said that the famous Emma Lazarus poem on the Statue of Liberty refers to “people coming from Europe.”
If it passes legal muster, the rule will penalize people if they receive the benefits for more than 12 months across a three-year period and will apply to applications received after Oct. 15.
Becerra and Newsom said the state will fight the rule “every step of the way.”
“We are united as a state, we are representing the most diverse state and the world’s most diverse democracy,” Newsom said. “We every single day proudly are practicing pluralism.”
The Boy Scouts of America announced Tuesday that the national organization has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. In a media release, the organization cites the filing is expected to achieve two key objectives: equitably compensate victims who were harmed during their time in Scouting and continue carrying out its mission for years to come.
The Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce has announced FocusSCV -- a newly designed leadership program for directors, middle management, entrepreneurs and business owners, who are looking to take an active role in helping to shape the future of the SCV community.
LA Kings officials have announced that they've acquired forward Tim Schaller, the rights to forward Tyler Madden, a second-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft and a conditional fourth-round selection in 2022 from the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for forward Tyler Toffoli, according to Vice President and General Manager Rob Blake.
The members of the CA-782nd Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) gathered at the Santa Clarita Valley Activities Center February 9, 2020, to celebrate at their annual Military Ball event. Military Ball is a military tradition in which the Corps gathers for a formal dinner, dancing, and other events to celebrate the corps.
Sarah Avanessian, a Castaic High School English teacher and past Teacher of the Year from the William S. Hart Union High School District, was presented the Beth Dalton Memorial Literacy Leadership Award by the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) at the Literacy Lifts Conference.
In honor of Black History Month, the Delmar T. Oviatt Library at California State University, Northridge is exploring African American life from both sides of the camera with “Photography through the African American Lens,” an exhibition that will feature a panel of African American photographers showcasing their work on Tuesday, Feb 25.
The Annual Kite Festival organized by the non-profit organization CRY- Child Rights and You is coming back on Sunday February 23, 2020 beginning at 10 a.m. in the West Creek Park, 24247 Village Circle, Valencia, California, 91354.
Did your child miss the Spring auditions for the Santa Clarita Valley Youth Orchestra? There is no need to worry; seats are still available. The Santa Clarita Valley Youth Orchestra will be holding another round of auditions on Saturday, February 22nd at College of the Canyons.
Antelope Valley Indian Museum is seeking actors age 8 to 18 for the museum’s annual outdoor play based on a traditional California Indian story. Rehearsals are every Tuesday afternoon from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. The performance will be the evening of Saturday, May 2.
The SCV Education Foundation has announced its "Page Turners 2020 Campaign", where over the next two months they will be striving to fundraise and gather support for Page Turners, a program The Foundation piloted last year.
A Big Band, a charismatic international jazz group from Northamptonshire, England, will perform a mixture of styles from Gordon Goodwin, Alan Baylock and Van Morrison to Radiohead at the Valencia High School Theater on Tuesday, February 18 at 6:30 p.m.