Take Action

The Issue: Stop Rule to Bar Immigrant Medicaid and SNAP Users from Legal Residency Status  

REQUEST FOR ACTION: File a public comment with Department of Homeland Security in opposition to this proposed rule
PLEASE COMPLETE THIS ACTION BY: December 10, 2018

BACKGROUND INFORMATION:

The President has proposed a devastating and unnecessary expansion of the definition of “public charge” to undermine the ability of immigrants who are in the country legally to apply for lawful permanent residency (green card). Under the proposed rule, any past, present or even potential future enrollment in Medicaid, food aid,  and/or housing assistance programs could prevent immigrants from changing their immigration status and/or attaining legal residency.

This proposed rule could force many to choose between vital health care coverage and the ability to get a green card, for example. The most recent study of the rule finds that it could adversely affect the health coverage of over 13 million legal immigrants in the first year, with many millions more to follow. That will lead to a significant increase in the number of uninsured and billions of dollars in uncompensated care costs for hospitals.

Additionally, the proposed rule would punish low-income legal immigrants and trap them into a cycle of poverty. The regulation would make immigrant families afraid to seek access to healthy food, health care, and housing. This fear would extend far beyond people who may be subject to the “public charge” test. It would harm entire communities as well as the infrastructure that serves all of us. The proposed rule change will also put the nutrition, health, and well-being of families, including millions of children, at risk. Because disease knows no borders, fear of using health care services could result increased risk of communicable diseases for everyone.

As people of faith we are called to stand with our immigrant brothers and sisters. The proposed rule changes longstanding policy and dramatically reduces the ability of our immigrants to become citizens and contributing members of our society.

In the absence of any Congressional action, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has chosen to make this extensive policy change by administrative rule-making.  Members of the public have the right to submit “comments” on any proposed rule change before it becomes effective.

Please write your own personalized public comment opposing this rule change (called “Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds”) by going to the regulations website:
https://www.regulations.gov/comment?D=USCIS-2010-0012-0001

There you are supplied with space to write your comments, the choice of how much you want to make public,  and the ability to submit with a click.

YOUR VOICE MATTERS! SUBMIT YOUR COMMENTS BY DECEMBER 10, 2018

 

Current Activities Advocating on Behalf of Our Immigrant Sisters and Brothers

The CSJ Immigration Task Group continues to advocate and encourage others to contact their elected officials in Congress TODAY to support compassionate immigration policies and laws. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops support compassionate immigration policies for families. The U.S. Catholic Bishops have “urge courts and policy makers to respect and enhance, not erode, the potential of our asylum system to preserve and protect the right to life.”  And condemn the irreparable harm and trauma to young children, because “Families are the foundational element of our society and they must be able to stay together. While protecting our borders is important, we can and must do better as a government, and as a society, to find other ways to ensure that safety. Separating babies from their mothers is not the answer and is immoral.”

Take time this week to:

  1. Be Persistent and Call your elected officials! Contact Minnesota’s congressional representatives and contact them often. Keep telling them you support Immigrants and Refugees. Contact them EVERY DAY even if they already support this view.  Ask them to support welcoming and compassionate immigrant legislation, and to vote NO on any anti-immigrant legislation.
  2. Be a Voice for Justice! Speak up against laws and policies that negatively impact immigrants and refugees including actions separating families and negatively harming immigrant children. Write a letter to the editor and/or editorial for publication in any newspaper that prints an article about the family separation policy.  Seize every opportunity to have intentional conversations on these issues within your personal circles of family, friends and co-workers.  Be a witness at local vigils showing our support of immigrants and compassionate immigration policies.
  3. Be a Champion! Ask local corporations and companies, as well as the professional associations to which you belong, to stand up in vocal support of the Dream Act and legal protections for immigrant and refugee community members.
  4. Be a Supporter! Donate or volunteer for organizations directly serving and supporting immigrants and refugees, especially those working with the children separated by the government’s “zero tolerance policy.”
  5. Be Persistent! Finally, fatigue is not an option. Distraction is not an option. Now is our time to act. Now it is time to do something!
  6. And Vote!

(Suggestions adapted from John Keller, executive director of the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota (ILCM))


Past Actions

Some Resources on Dismantling Racism 

Books:

  • The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas
    The CSJ Justice Commission read and discussed this book in 2017 and found it to be a compelling and very moving look at the lives of African-American teens and their families and at the issue of police shootings of unarmed Black men. Marketed as young adult fiction, The Hate U Give is a powerful story for all readers, and very engaging for book groups looking for a challenging discussion of contemporary issues. Read more at the author’s website or click here for more resources and a discussion guide.
  • Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson
    Mr. Stevenson’s writing brings readers with him to witness sorrowful injustices that continue to this day, along with stories of hope.  Click here to download a discussion guide.
  • Racial Justice and the Catholic Church, Fr. Bryan Massingale
    Fr. Massingale’s book, a loving, clear and tough look at the need for the Catholic Church to address racism, was written nearly a decade ago but the message still needs to be heard.  For a review, see here.
  • An American Marriage, Tayari Jones
    See review by Washington Post, which notes “The only thing more distressing than the size of America’s prison system is its racist function” and the effect it has on Democracy as voters are disenfranchised.

Videos:

Anti Human Trafficking Response to 2018 Super Bowl

Minnesotans can be proud of the thoughtful and diligent response of dedicated community members to support victims of human trafficking and raise awareness of the issue during the 2018 Super Bowl. The CSJ Anti Human Trafficking Working Group (AHTWG) began working on a response plan in spring 2016. A large focus of the work has been preparing for an emergency shelter for trafficked victims in partnership with Breaking Free, an agency AHTWG has been collaborating with since 2002. The very active sisters, consociates, laywomen, St. Kate’s students & alumnae, and sisters from several religious communities: O.P., OSB, Congregation of CSJ’s, OSF, and SSND have formed a community of giving by collecting items to stock an emergency shelter in the Twin Cities. The group is pleased to report that the cash donations, gift cards, clothing, bedding, air mattresses, ear warmers, etc. will be used during the Super Bowl and beyond to support the needs of the victims Minnesota agencies serve every day of the year.

Although some members of the working group are prepared to help where needed up to the 10 days prior to the Super Bowl, we also encourage your prayers for all victims of human trafficking during this time and beyond the Super Bowl.

 

Thank You for Advocating for CHIP

Thank you to everyone that advocated for Federal money for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Congress approved on Monday, January 22, a six year extension of the program. State funding for these children exists from other sources but they are insufficient to provide coverage alone to the approximately 125,000 children in Minnesota. Thank you for advocating with your members of Congress.

 

Continue Advocating for DACA Youth

Continue to contact your elected officials in Congress TODAY asking for their support for DACA youth and to pass clean DREAM Act bi-partisan legislation. There are many ways to get involved and one simply way is to take action NOW with NETWORK, Advocates for Justice inspired by Catholic Sisters http://act.networklobby.org/p/dia/action4/common/public/?action_KEY=23258  or get involved with the CSJ Immigration Task Group.