BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore City filed a lawsuit against the Trump Administration Wednesday in reference to its immigration policy.
According to city solicitor Andre Davis, the “Trump administration has done everything it could to make life miserable for immigrants or potential immigrants.”
This lawsuit does not deal with those seeking political asylum at the U.S. border, rather it applies to changes in who gets a visa to visit the U.S., and whether they or their families have ever public assistance like Head Start, free school lunches or public health vaccinations.
In a press release, Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh stated it’s due to the administration “unlawfully and secretly changing the State Department’s definition of “public charge,” a provision in immigration law that limits who may come to the United States.”
The statement said the change in the definition is due to the administrations “well-known hostility towards certain immigrant groups,” and “is a violation of the federal laws governing administrative agencies.”
“Baltimore is a welcoming City, known for embracing immigrants and also benefiting from their many contributions,” Mayor Catherine E. Pugh said in the press release. “This effort by the Trump Administration to create additional obstacles to those seeking to live in Baltimore is an affront to the ideals and principles on which this nation was founded. We are determined to resist this latest attempt to deprive our immigrant communities of basic services and are confident we will prevail.”
The statement alleged African immigrant enrollment in Head Start has “virtually ceased” as a direct result of the change.
John Lewis, an attorney with Democracy Forward, a non-partisan legal service, said “these are all the benefits immigrants are eligible to received under the law — under federal law, under state law and under Baltimore’s laws.”
The lawsuit will likely hinge on whether the Constitution is being violated.
“The administration’s changes are motivated by hostility and animosity toward immigrant communities,” Lewis said.
This same argument was made about Trump’s Muslim travel ban, which he Supreme Court ultimately held up. A victory the President relished.
“The Supreme Court ruling was a tremendous victory for our country,” Trump said at the time.
Baltimore thinks it has the evidence to make a strong case on the benefits issue and likely a long slog through the courts for both parties.
The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.