Colorado Joins Lawsuit Challenging “Public Charge” Rule

Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser
Credit Colorado Attorney General's Office /
Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser

Colorado's Attorney General Phil Weiser is joining a lawsuit with 12 other states aimed at blocking a new rule from the Trump administration that seeks to redefine terms on public assistance when it comes to granting legal status to immigrants.

The new rule unveiled this week would add publicly funded programs like Medicaid, housing vouchers and food benefits to criteria currently considered by immigration officials. It would also change the terms of when someone becomes a so-called "public charge." 

The lawsuit alleges the changes punish immigrants for using public benefits allowed through Congress and reverses longstanding policy. 

In a press release from Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser's office, he writes that the rule is an attempt to instill fear in those seeking to become legal residents, adding that it "threatens to undermine America's core commitment towards treating people fairly and equally." 

Other states joining the lawsuit include New Mexico, Nevada, and Washington.