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Baltimore sues Trump admin over immigrants' access to benefits



"The Trump Administration's changes to a country of immigrants from the immigrants of the country if they have used any host of federal, state or local programs – making it harder for immigrants to reunite with their families, "the lawsuit reads.

The suit names President Donald Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the State Department as defendants, and it charges the administration with the constitution's equal protection guarantees.

"The change was motivated by the trump administration's well-known hostility toward the immigrant groups – the most notable Hispanic, Asian and African communities – and is a violation of the federal laws governing administrative agencies, including the Constitution's guarantee of Equal Protection, read a statement from the office of Baltimore Democratic Mayor Catherine Pugh.

CNN has reached out to the State Department for comment on the suit.

The move, the city said, came in response to a State Department change to its definition of a "public charge," a term for a prospective immigrant who is likely to be "primarily dependent" on government benefits. According to US Citizenship and Immigration Services, someone designated a public charge is inadmissible to the US and ineligible to become a legal permanent resident.
As CNN reported last spring, The Trump Administration has considered many additional benefits – like the deciding who can be a public charge, thus restricting legal immigrants' access to public benefits.
Baltimore's lawsuit notes that the Department of Homeland Security has expanded the public charge definition yet, while a parallel State Department policy has already put into place.

According to the suit, the State Department has expanded its definition of a public charge in the Foreign Affairs Manual to include a wider array of benefits, and the change has resulted in immigrant residents of the Baltimore declining to accept "the public benefits Baltimore makes available to all of its residents. "

"Baltimore's residents, immigrant and not, will be less healthy and less well-off as a consequence of defendants' unlawful actions," the lawsuit says.


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