UPDATE 2 - NY Attorney General, Lawmakers Hit Trump Over Limiting Welfare Benefits For Immigrants

UPDATE 2 - NY Attorney General, Lawmakers Hit Trump Over Limiting Welfare Benefits for Immigrants

WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 13th August, 2019) New York Attorney General Letitia James in a statement said she plans to sue President Donald Trump's administration over its policy to deny a path to citizenship to immigrants who use welfare benefits in the United States.

Earlier in the day, the administration announced that immigrants may be denied permanent residence status in the United States if they use food assistance, housing vouchers and other welfare benefits over a threshold referred to as a "public charge."

"Trump's new public charge rule is yet one more example of his Administration turning its back on people fighting to make a better life for them and their families," James said on Monday. "Under this rule, children will go hungry; families will go without medical care. I am committed to defending all of New York's communities, which is why I intend to sue the Trump Administration over this egregious rule."

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), a rights group that has been on the front line in many lawsuits against the Trump administration over immigration policy, slammed the White House's crackdown on the poor.

"This rule sends a cruel message that the government doesn't think poor people and people with disabilities are valuable members of our communities," the ACLU said via Twitter on Monday.

"Immigrants are welcome here, no matter how much money you make or whether you're living with disabilities."

On May 17, Trump presented his administration's plan for a new merit-based legal immigration system that will increase the proportion of high-skilled immigrants allowed entry into the United States from 12 percent to 57 percent.

An increasing number of migrants from Central America have been arriving to the US border with Mexico in recent months. Trump has called the surge of arrivals a crisis and declared a national emergency in February in order to secure funds to build a border wall to stem the tide of illegal immigration.

US Senator Dick Durbin in a statement said the penalizing immigrants living in the United States legally will do nothing to fix the situation at the border "and will only sow fear & distrust in immigrant communities across the US."

US Congressman Eliot Engel in a separate statement also took aim at Trump and his new policy.

"His Administration's new #PublicCharge rule targets immigrant families, penalizing them for using government services. It will lead to immigrant families going without critical life-saving health care & food. More xenophobia, more policies rooted in racism," Engel said via Twitter on Monday.

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