Thirteen states yesterday filed a lawsuit challenging a Department of Homeland Security final rule limiting the ability of legal immigrants to adjust or extend their immigration status or gain full citizenship based on their prospective receipt of public benefits. Released Monday and effective Oct. 15, the rule expands the types of programs that can contribute to a public charge determination to include Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps) and select housing programs. When making immigration determinations, the government considers whether someone can support themselves financially or if they are at risk for becoming a “public charge” — that is, primarily dependent on the government for subsistence.
 
San Francisco and Santa Clara counties in California also have filed a lawsuit to stop the rule, and the New York attorney general and National Immigration Law Center each plan to file separate legal challenges to the rule.
 
On Monday, AHA said the rule creates barriers to appropriately caring for the sick and injured, and to keeping people healthy; and joined America’s Essential Hospitals, the Association of American Medical Colleges, Catholic Health Association of the United States, Children’s Hospital Association and Federation of American Hospitals in asking the administration to withdraw it.

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