San Francisco, Santa Clara file lawsuit over public charge rule

Two California counties were the first to take legal action against the Trump administration for a new rule that would deny permanent residency to immigrants who have used benefit programs like Medicaid, The New York Times reports.

The rule, which goes into effect in October, will deny immigrants green cards if they have used certain government benefits for 12 months or more in any 36-month period. Benefits that count toward this rule include food stamps and Medicaid. The total benefit count is also taken in aggregate, so using both food stamps and Medicaid in one month counts as two months of public benefit use under the public charge rule. It also gives the federal government latitude to deny permanent residency to people deemed "likely to become public charges."

The counties jointly filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco, according to The New York Times. They allege the rule could have negative effects on public health as fewer immigrants seek care and would push costs onto local governments, according to the report.

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