Press Releases

Attorney General William Tong



(Hartford, CT) -- Attorney General William Tong today joined the states of New York, Vermont and the City of New York in suing the Trump Administration over its Public Charge rule that seeks to deny green cards and visas to immigrants that have used or are deemed likely to use government assistance programs. Such a rule would cause immediate and long-term harm to public health and our economy, with particular harm to communities of color. The suit, filed in the Southern District of New York is led by New York Attorney General Letitia James.

"The Public Charge Rule is a partisan scheme to vilify immigrants who—like generations of families before them-- seek support to lift their families out of poverty. We are talking about access to doctors, healthy food and safe housing-- the most basic foundations that kids need to grow and thrive. Today, Connecticut joins states across the country in defending access to the American Dream. This rule is yet another cruel and unconstitutional racist ploy to intimidate and penalize immigrants of color. It cannot stand," said Attorney General William Tong.

In the suit, the coalition argues that the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) new public charge definition disregards clear congressional intent, and a century’s worth of case law holding that immigrants who use basic, non-cash benefits are not considered public charges because they are not primarily dependent on the government. Additionally, the public charge rule weaponizes the public charge inquiry to specifically target immigrants of color, immigrants with disabilities, and low-income immigrants. Finally, the rule fundamentally misunderstands that these non-cash programs are designed to help immigrants who arrive in this country with limited means move out of poverty and achieve upward mobility.

Click here to view the lawsuit.

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