Thirteen U.S. States Sue Over New Rule to Limit Legal Immigration

Brian Snyder/Reuters

A coalition of 13 U.S. states sued President Donald Trump’s administration on Wednesday, seeking to block a new rule that would drastically reduce legal immigration by denying visas to poor migrants.

Some experts say the rule could cut legal immigration in half by denying visas and permanent residency to hundreds of thousands of people if they fail to meet high enough income standards or if they receive public assistance such as welfare, food stamps, public housing or Medicaid.

“The Trump Administration’s message is clear: if you’re wealthy you’re welcome, if you’re poor, you’re not,” Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson said in a statement. “This rule is un-American, anti-immigrant and unlawful.”

The rule, unveiled on Monday and to take effect Oct. 15, expands the definition of a public charge, allowing denials to visa applicants who fail to meet income requirements or who receive public assistance.

Ferguson said the rule violates the Immigration and Nationality Act by redefining “public charge” in a way unconnected to its original meaning and Congress’ intent.

The lawsuit is similar to one filed on Tuesday by the city of San Francisco and nearby Santa Clara County seeking to block the rule.

The 13 states said in their lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington, that the new rule “effects a radical overhaul of federal immigration law transforming a system that promotes economic mobility among immigrants into one that advantages immigrants with wealth.”

The other states joining Washington in the lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security are: Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Rhode Island and Virginia.

The Homeland Security Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

(Reporting by Eric Beech and Mohammad Zargham in Washington; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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Typical liberal democrats. If you’re not here on legitimate asylum claims, you absolutely should have something to offer the future of this country besides going on public assistance, free medical care and having special bi-lingual teachers for your kids – at taxpayer expense. For example, no US citizen could just step over into Mexico and go on public assistance there. NO WAY! In order to stay in Mexico beyond a 6-month tourist visa, you have to prove a 2-year history of sustainable, basic minimum income, with bank statements! They don’t want you there living off the public dole either! So,… Read more »

Dave Hardesty

What do I think? Being from Washington State I think Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson is a stupid AG and a lot of conservatives and liberals in Washington State would agree.

BTW, The homeless situation in the Puget Sound area of Washington is just as bad as San Francisco, Los Angeles and Baltimore. Not to mention all large cities predominately comprised of the liberal left.

MariaRose Randazzo

Perhaps instead of suing and wasting court time and money, they should make changes to the immigration laws in place. These states are complaining since those loopholes around the law are being eliminated. Perhaps fewer people would complain about those immigrants coming to the USA if all came and did not need benefits to survive. There’s nothing in the Consitution that guarantees anyone the right to be a burden to others.


San Francisco filed a suit too, but who wants to move and live there? I am surprised about some
of the states who are in this group, especially Colorado due to the speech Gov. Lamm made about how to commit suicide as a country. This suit is one of the reasons countries succeed at its own suicide. Trump did NOT say only the wealthy can come. Fake news again.😥

Tom Bodine

Same 13 that oppose anything pro-American or that makes sense.

Karin Callaway

13 Dem-Run States bringing suit over the fact of wanting Real Legal Immigrants to come into the country. Guess they must miss the fact of the matter (Oh my i said a bad word – Fact), that those folks who come in with nothing to support themselves with, will Draw Taxpayer Money that could go to help the Homeless and for mental health treatments. The ‘subjects’ of these states will have to shell out their hard earned income taxes to pay for the lawsuits. But that is ok, because their leadership will be able to “maybe” win and they can… Read more »


These states hate Americans. They want to employ outsiders before fellow countrymen.


Let’s put this immigration issue in another perspective. You go to the bank and apply for a loan. The bank’s loan officer looks over your application and sees you have no job and no source of income. You lack skills that are needed in order to make a living on your own. You’ll most likely apply for government assistance. Do you really think the bank is going to lend you money when you have no source of repayment? Will a landlord rent you his property when you have no revenue to make monthly payments? The same goes for everything in… Read more »





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