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Community Organizations File Lawsuit Against Trump’s Public Charge Rule

Donald Trump Photo: WhiteHouse.Gov

Aug. 27, 2019 By Shane O’Brien

Several community organizations filed a joint lawsuit on Tuesday in federal court in a bid to block the Trump administration’s “Public Charge” rule from taking effect on Oct. 15.

Make the Road New York, African Services Committee, Asian American Federation, Catholic Charities Community Services, and Catholic Legal Immigration Network (“CLINIC”) filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District arguing that the proposed rule was unconstitutional, racist and unfair to immigrants who need public assistance.

The lawsuit is one of many that’s been filed across the nation challenging President Trump’s public charge rule.

The rule would make it far easier for the administration to classify poor immigrants as a “public charge,” a classification that would likely lead to the denial of their application for a green card.

The rule would designate immigrants who are likely to receive public benefits –even temporarily– as a “public charge”. Immigrants who currently receive benefits such as housing assistance, food stamps and healthcare are likely to have their green card applications rejected.

The lawsuit argues that the rule violates the Administrative Procedures Act, along with the Equal Protection and Due Processes clauses of the Constitution. It says that the Public Charge rule deliberately targets immigrants of color and that it is intended to get rid of immigrants from countries with predominately non-white populations.

The complaint also alleges that the Trump administration’s new and expansive definition contradicts the statutory definition of a public charge as limited to an individual who is “primarily” dependent upon public support. The new rule would classify immigrants who use public assistance–no matter how small that benefit is–as a public charge.

Blanca Palomeque, member of Make the Road New York, labeled the rule as immoral and said that it would force green card applicants to decide between their personal welfare and remaining in the United States.

“This inhumane change punishes working class families like mine for feeding our children, accessing crucial healthcare services and keeping our families together—all because we’re not white and wealthy,” Palomeque said.

Make the Road New York’s co-executive Director Javier Valdes said that the public charge rule will cause immigrant families to renounce essential services and programs out of fear that their family will be ripped apart.

Janet Sobel, CEO of the Legal Aid Society, said that the U.S government had weaponized the safety net that is there for immigrant families who fall on hard times. The Legal Aid Society represent the plaintiffs, along with the Center for Constitutional Rights, and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP.

“We look forward to challenging the administration’s racist and xenophobic rule so that our low-income clients can continue to become permanent residents just like so many generations have been able to do in the past,” Sobel said.

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There was a safety net back in the 1950’s back through the late 1800’s called the community chest. Americans don’t even know their own history, that’s why they so easily fall prey to Fox News propaganda.

The Taxpayer

The community chests were private philanthropy organizations that raised money for those in need, they did not use taxpayers money


I remember all of my grandparents getting help from their churches and the different ethnic societies. This was back in the 1920’s.


It is apparent that the people saying things against those receiving some public assistance have not even bothered to read the article, which clearly explains the reason this lawsuit actually addresses the new rule. It is an expansion of what was defined as “public charge” and violates constitutional clauses, and directly changes rules of who can and cannot apply for a greencard, targeting mostly immigrants of color.

It grieves me that the people most likely to pipe up on these issues are those who barely understand their own native language and the Constitution and it’s protections just so they may take pleasure in denying the rights of others. Most news is written at less than an 8th grade reading level, and still the pitchfork and torch wielding citizens cannot comprehend what is clearly written. Bravo, bravo, my fellow Americans, bravo.

The Taxpayer

Can you elaborate on what constitutional clauses it violates? I cannot find the clause that says taxpayers should subsidize housing, food, education, for immigrants.

Hope the lawsuit gets dismissed

It’s funny how these people come to the US expecting handout on top of handout, but don’t expect it from the countries they left. Do they come here for a better life or to live off the government?

No other civilized country in the world allows this nonsense.

Republican Prosperity

“No other civilized nation in the world allows this nonsense”. Well, except Germany, Australia, Canada, Sweden, Denmark and dozens more. Hahaha The Fox News viewer is just such a simple takedown. Thank you Fox News for making it so easy.


Have you ever been to any of those countries? I’ve been to all of them except Australia and those countries are dying – no population growth and overrun with welfare immigrants. Sweden is already predicted to be a 3rd world country in next 30-40years by economic expects. And I don’t watch Fox news or ccn or other BS propaganda.


People in Sweden are afraid to go to some parts of their own country because of violent immigrants. Sweden has been a very passive peaceful country until waves of asylum seekers flooded their shores. Such a shame

Real Story...

Hmmm…have you noticed that most of those countries you mentioned have now elected right-wing governments?
Even liberal Europeans have their limits. Asylum seekers never bothered to go to Russia or bother with counties with less generous benefits…( ironically, countries more inline with their cultural and religious world views)

Its a complex issue no doubt…
To simply say there’s no cost to feeding, educating, and housing people is painting a grossly false narrative.

Héctor Gomez

The abuse of the system needs to stop.if you working and getting paid under the table”cash”get off the system.please.

Why should they pay more taxes than the President?

Not paying taxes “makes you smart;” unless you’re saying Trump was wrong?!

The Taxpayer

These so called “community organizations” (that receive million of dollars in contributions) should pick up the tab and support the illegals with their own money, not the taxpayer. If I was Trump I would counter sue and make them pay for food, housing, education for those illegals.


“We look forward to challenging the administration’s racist and xenophobic rule so that our low-income clients can continue to become permanent residents just like so many generations have been able to do in the past,” Sobel said.


Prior generations came here legally. Didn’t sneak into the country and expect everything to be given to them.

stan chaz

“Legally” back then, if you knew the history of your country and your ancestors, meant coming here with practically no restrictions, especially for white Europeans, even though they were poor and uneducated. Trump is a racist fraud, just like his casinos, universities and charities.


There were no immigration laws when my grandparents came to the U.S. However there was a process. They received a medical exam, were asked questions about there education, what type of work they had done and where and how they were going to fend for themselves. The U.S.A. has a record of when and where my grandparents came here. That doesn’t”t happen when you sneak into this country.


Those poor and uneducated people were the backbone of this country. The U.S. was still developing. We are a much different country today. We need the most highly educated and skilled people to come here so we can compete with the rest of the world. We don’t need millions of uneducated and unskilled people. We went through that period already.


Getting things you want and need on your own makes people stronger. No handouts for immigrants.

I agree, why didn't Mexico pay for The Wall?

I agree with you, Trump shouldn’t force taxpayers to pay for it just because he lied to us.

"If you were Trump" you wouldn't pay any taxes

Trump bragged that he doesn’t pay any taxes, and he’s afraid to reveal his tax returns. It “makes him smart,” what’s wrong with not paying taxes?


If you’re a foreign citizen living in this country and you go on public assistance of any kind, there’s a term for that: public charge. What a ridiculous thing to sue over, and a complete abuse of the judicial system. The resources are far better spent in keeping your fellow immigrants off of public assistance – use private charity mechanisms! That’s how people have managed this for more than a century.


If you need proof that our country is full of cold-hearted idiots, look no further than this comments page. Why the animus towards those who need a helping hand in order to make a life for themselves in this country? So many of our ancestors desperately needed help when they emigrated but instead went hungry, sick and fell victim to labor and sex trafficking. There was no safety net for them and they suffered greatly as a result. The public charge rule is cruel and inhumane, and so are those who defend it.

stan chaz

“Legally” back then, if you knew the history of your country and your ancestors, meant coming here with practically no restrictions, especially for white Europeans, even though they were poor and uneducated. Trump is a racist fraud, just like his casinos, universities and charities.

stan chaz

Hillary was right when she called them deplorables,.Their immigrant ancestors must be rolling over in their graves – assuming that the commentators that you referring to are not Russian bots getting an early start on hacking the next election for Putin’s buddy Trump..

Emiliano Zapata

If you want to support immigrants do it with your own money. I rather help the long forgotten American poor who. It seems that some people are more interested in helping poor foreigners than fellow Americans who are struggling due to the left wing policies in NYC. Sad!


Thank you for your comments, to which I agree. We have an all time high homeless crisis and no one seems to be bending over backwards for them. I remember when I would only see homeless people on the streets of Manhattan, now I see them on the streets of Queens. Help these people. They are not all drug addicts, and if they are ,they need help too.


Don’t agree with your comments. My grandparents received nothing when they came here. They wanted nothing. It’s called pride, and they didn’t mind suffering for awhile.It made them better and stronger people, which was past down to me.


My family got help from the church and different ethnic groups. When they established themselves they did the same for other newcomers.


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