Letitia James did not words when describing the Trump administration's new "public charge" rule.

"It's nothing more than a racist attempt to not allow people of color, immigrants of color, to our shores," she said Tuesday.

That's why the attorney general of the state of New York is suing.

Announced last week by the Citizenship and Immigration Services, the expanded "public charge" rule will deny visa extensions and permanent residency to legal immigrants who get some kinds of public assistance like Medicaid and food stamps.

"We welcome to these shores immigrants who are not just rich, but immigrants, again, who are also poor," James said.

Connecticut, Vermont, and New York City are joining James's lawsuit. Fifteen other states are suing separately.

"This administration doesn't care about immigrants," said State Sen. Gustavo Rivera of the Bronx. "They care about a particular type of immigrant and they want to keep a particular type of immigrant out. It is racist, it is cruel, and we will not stand for it."

James argued the rule will negatively affect the interests of New York state residents, and that it goes against the original intent of the rule as established by Congress.

"The fundamental part of this lawsuit is about Article One of the Constitution, which issues to us the right to hold the purse, to issue our funding for programs like Section 8, food stamps, Medicare, Medicaid, etc," New York Rep. Adriano Espaillat said.

This is the 16th lawsuit that James has filed against the Trump administration since she was sworn in as attorney general in January.

If a judge doesn't put a stop to it in the next few weeks, this new "public charge" rule will take effect October 15.


Looking for an easy way to learn about the issues affecting New York City?

Listen to our "Off Topic/On Politics" podcast: Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Spotify | iHeartRadio | Stitcher | RSS