"The Trump Administration's changes to the (a State Department manual) put thumb on the scale in favor of barring immigrants from the country if they have used any of a host of federal, state or local programs – making it much 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 charges the administration with violating the Constitution's equal protection guarantees.
"The change was motivated by Trump's well-known hostility towards certain immigrant groups – the most notable Hispanic, Asian and African communities – and is a violation of federal laws governing administrative agencies, including the Constitution's guarantee of Equal Protection," read a statement from the Baltimore Democratic Mayor Catherine Pugh.
CNN has reached out to the State Department for comment on the suit.
According to the suit, the State Department has expanded its definition of public charge in the Foreign Affairs Manual to include a wider array of benefits, and the change resulted in immigrant residents of Baltimore declining to accept "the public benefits of Baltimore making available to all of its residents. "
"Baltimore's immigrant residents will be less healthy and less well-off as a result of Defendants' illegal actions," the lawsuit says.