The Trump administration recently announced new rules governing immigration visas. The rules expand the definition of a “public charge,” someone dependent on public services, a group excluded from consideration for visas because they use government resources.
Officials in the city and county of San Francisco, as well as Santa Clara County, see the new interpretation of the law as a way to limit legal immigration and exclude poor immigrants.
They aren’t wrong, and they aren’t happy.
San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera said in a statement:
“This illegal rule is just another attempt to vilify immigrants.”
The counties filed a lawsuit to stop the new rule from taking effect.
The lawsuit said:
“The final rule rejects the longstanding, existing definition of public charge, and attempts to redefine it to include even minimal use of a much wider range of non-cash benefits.
The final rule will worsen the health and well-being of the counties’ residents, increase risks to the public health, undermine the counties’ health and safety-net systems, and inflict significant financial harm.”
Since the new rules will reduce the number of people potentially using government services, it’s not clear how it will increase risks to public health, harm safety-net systems, or cause financial harm. But this is California, so anything is possible.