Connecticut, California threaten to sue over public charge rule

State attorneys general are readying to challenge the Trump administration's new public charge rule, which could make immigrants ineligible for green cards if they use Medicaid or other public benefits.

The rule expands the definition of "public charge" to include people who use benefits like Medicaid and food stamps. Under the new rule, an immigrant could be deemed ineligible for permanent residency for using certain public benefits for 12 months or more in a 36-month period. Benefits are totaled in aggregate, so if a person uses food stamps and Medicaid for one month, it counts as two months toward the rule.

Opponents in the medical community believe the rule will discourage people from seeking healthcare, and that it will create confusion among immigrants who may have legal access to healthcare services.

Connecticut Attorney General William Tong said he is working "in close coordination with partner states" to take legal action against the rule, according to The CT Mirror. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra is also prepared to take legal action, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Proponents say the rule ensures residents are self-sufficient. The rule goes into effect Oct. 15.


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