GENERIC: state capital, Lansing

Michigan officials say they don't want new federal rules to discourage immigrants from applying for public assistance.

Beginning mid-October, the government will take into consideration whether green card applicants have received Medicaid, food stamps, housing vouchers and other forms of public assistance. It is part of the Trump administration's aggressive plan to restrict legal immigration.

Robert Gordon heads the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. He says the rule has caused "harmful misunderstandings" that deter eligible individuals from seeking assistance.

Gordon says immigrants who are citizens or have green cards won't be affected by the rule, along with victims of human trafficking, refugees and asylum applicants. Pregnant women and children receiving Medicaid also remain unaffected.

Thirteen attorney generals, including Michigan's, have sued the federal government over the new rule.

Copyright 2019 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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