Lawmakers urge withdrawal of rule targeting poor immigrants

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts’ congressional delegation is calling on the State Department to withdraw its new “public charge” rule aimed at denying green cards to low income and poor immigrants.

The 11 Democratic lawmakers argue in a letter dated Thursday that multiple federal courts have temporarily blocked a corresponding rule by the Department of Homeland Security.

The rules were slated to take effect Oct. 15 and are part of the Trump administration’s efforts to disqualify immigrants from legal U.S. residency if they might become a burden on government welfare programs like Medicaid, housing assistance and food stamps.

The administration says it wants to ensure immigrants gaining legal status are self-sufficient, but critics say the rules are discriminatory and a betrayal of the country’s values.

The State Department said it will respond to the lawmaker’s request “as timely and responsive as possible.”

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