Washington – Sen. Richard Blumenthal on Tuesday joined a Democratic colleague on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, in introducing legislation that would block the Trump administration’s “public charge” rule.
That rule, which will be implemented on Oct. 15, would deny entry or green cards to immigrants based on their use of public assistance programs like food stamps and Medicaid.
That’s a change from how the federal government has historically defined a “public charge,” which is someone who is largely dependent on government aid.
“Neither of us would be here if this rule existed when we were born,” said Blumenthal, whose father was an immigrant to the United States, of himself and Hirono.
Hirono said the bill, called the Protect America Values Act, has 27 Senate co-sponsors.
Still, the bill will have a tough time advancing in the Senate, which is controlled by Republicans who largely back the Trump administration’s immigration policies.
Sixteen states have sued to block implementation of the new public charge rule.
In a joint lawsuit with New York and Vermont, Connecticut said the new definition of a public charge is unconstitutional and would hurt the state financially by depriving it of federal dollars for social programs like Medicaid and food stamps and force the state to spend its own money to help immigrants in need.