AG Tong: Federal Immigration Rule Change 'Cruel and Pointless'

Sep 5, 2019

Connecticut lawmakers met with New Haven residents to discuss the Trump administration’s plan to close several paths to citizenship for immigrants who receive public assistance.

The Trump administration rule would classify immigrants who use safety net programs like food stamps or Medicaid as public charges. The rule would use that classification to deny visas, green cards and citizenship requests. Some immigrants could face deportation.

State and local lawmakers, including Connecticut’s Attorney General William Tong, told residents at the Fair Haven Community Health Care in New Haven they’re firmly opposed.

“I’d be hard-pressed to think of something that this administration has done that is more cruel and pointless than the public charge rule. You know, we once had a president who declared war on poverty. Now we have a president who’s declared war on the poor.”

Suzanne Lagarde is with the Fair Haven Community Health Care in New Haven.

“Make no mistake. These proposed changes, if enacted as planned next month, will have a significant adverse effect on our community. The fears and anxieties we are already seeing will grow exponentially.”

Connecticut and New York are among 20 states that have filed suit to block the federal rule change. New York’s Attorney General Letitia James says it could result in more homelessness and less medical care for immigrants and residents.

The policy is set to go into effect next month.

An earlier version of this story incorrectly called Fair Haven Community Health Care by its old name, Fair Haven Community Health Center.