Forty members from St. John the Evangelist Church and the neighborhood attended a civic academy yesterday to learn about “public charge.” This new policy by the Trump Administration’s Department of Homeland Security would affect many legal immigrants who are applying for permanent residency (green cards) and penalize applicants if they or their families have received government support such as SNAP (food stamps), subsidized health care, and other support that the government has labeled a “public charge.”
As rumors of this new policy surfaced, immigrant churches and Pima County Interfaith started conducting research. The fear began a few months ago when the press began to talk again about this policy. Rumors and misinformation led many immigrants to renounce their citizen children’s benefits out of fear. Among those immigrants most affected by this proposal are low-income families, single mothers, and children with chronic illnesses.
At Sunday’s session, a single mother asked if she could lose her permanent residency if she continued to receive AHCCCS, Arizona’s version of Medicaid, for her infant baby. Fortunately, she received her visa through the VAWA program that so far is exempt from being a 'public charge.'
After the session, some attendees thanked the St. John team for making this presentation. They said they felt more relaxed now that they knew which programs would be counted as 'public charge.'
A young mother said, "I'm going to register for citizenship classes and I'm going to apply to become a citizen. I'm afraid this administration will find another way to revoke my residency and separate me from my family."
AMOS Seeks Welfare of the City: Extended Library Hours, Park Lighting and Infrastructure in Lower Income Zip Codes
Leaders packed a church hall to engage Des Moines candidates around including AMOS priorities in key investments in lower income areas of the city. Candidates who participated and agreed to support the agenda included: Scott Sanders (Des Moines City Manager), Frank Cownie (Des Moines Mayor), Chris Coleman (Des Moines City Councilmember), Josh Mandelbaum (Des Moines City Councilmember Ward 3), and Linda Westergaard (Des Moines City Councilmember Ward 4).
The City Manager committed to including AMOS priorities in a one-cent local option sales tax increase planned for March 2019. AMOS priorities included: expansion of library hours to at least 6 days per week, lighting in two inner city parks, addressing the growing number of dilapidated/abandoned homes in 50314 and 50316 zip codes, doubling the number of rental housing inspectors, startup funds for a children's mental health crisis unit / observation center, and basic infrastructure improvements (i.e. streets, sidewalks, sewers, and snow removal).
Leaders plan to follow up with public officials who made commitments in early 2019 to ensure their fulfill their pledges.
Group Pushes Des Moines to Use Sales Tax Money to Extend Library Hours, Des Moines Register
...The Senate's attempt to restructure health care policy will, among other things, wipe out Medicaid expansion, which helps to cover nearly half of our children and makes rural health possible.Read more
"This isn't just a tax issue. This is an issue of life or death," testified Travis Stanley, pastor of Norwalk Christian Church and leader with AMOS. AMOS criticizes a state law capping the amount counties can collect for such services to the amount they collected in 1996, regardless of whether the county grew since then. "Keeping the cap at 1996 levels â€” when I was 16 â€” has killed people. People have lost their lives because of this," he said.Read more
$500 thousand has been allocated to pay for lab tests, radiology and pharmacy services -- things generally unaffordable for residents concentrated in the agriculture or hospitality industry. The purpose is to prevent future visits to the county hospital's emergency room. The Episcopal Diocese estimates that between 1,200 and 2,000 uninsured undocumented county residents will be eligible for the program. According to Canon Jesus Reyes:Read more
COPA leaders' impassioned case for county funding of health services for uninsured, undocumented children appeared not to fall on deaf ears at a meeting of the Monterey County Board of Supervisors. The County Health Department director followed up with a request that the Board budget $500 thousand for a pilot project to make low-price prescription drugs and other specialty services available such children.Read more
United Way of Santa Cruz County recognized the organization's efforts (and its collaboration with Community Foundation and 1st 5 nonprofits) with an "Advocacy Award" for COPA leadership (pictured above).
Read the full comments below:Read more
Plan to Save Santa Cruz County's Healthy Kids in Place, Santa Cruz Sentinel
Hundreds upon hundreds of "women and men from across the county rose â€” cheering, clapping, shouting and raising their hands high in the air. The grass-roots commotion went on for almost a minute."Read more