Multiple States File Amicus Brief Challenging Public Charge Rule

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A coalition of 19 Attorneys General filed a multistate amicus brief in support of the lawsuit challenging the Trump Administration’s new rule that would change how immigration officials decide who will likely become a “public charge.”

Earlier this year, the Trump administration implemented sudden changes to the longstanding Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM), which officials at U.S. embassies and consulates overseas use in deciding to allow or deny a person’s application to enter the United States.

Under the new FAM instructions, consular officials are now required to consider the totality of the circumstances of visa applicants when determining their inadmissibility to the United States. They must consider the applicant’s age, health, family status, assets, resources, financial status, education, skills, and other factors.

On November 28, 2018, the City of Baltimore filed a lawsuit challenging the changes to the public charge guidance under FAM.

The Baltimore and its counsel Democracy Forward argued that the new guidance discourages immigrant families from accepting public benefits such as housing, healthcare, education, and other assistance programs. Immigrant families are now afraid that might jeopardize their future legal immigration status or the status of their family members if they receive public benefits.