Action

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Governor’s contact numbers:
217-782-0244 (Springfield)
312-814-2121 (Chicago)

ACTION

ACTION NEEDED:

Submit a public comment by November 6 to the US Department of Homeland Security opposing a rule change to the Flores Settlement Agreement. The rule change would be harmful to immigrant children in detention. See more below under “Why It Matters.”

Submit your comment before the November 6 deadline.

Please include the docket number, “DHS Docket No. ICEB-2018-0002,” for any of these following options for submitting comments:
  • Federal eRulemaking Portal (preferred): https://www.regulations.gov.  Follow the website instructions for submitting comments.
  • Email: ICE.Regulations@ice.dhs.gov. Include DHS Docket No. ICEB-2018-0002 in the subject line of the message.
  • Mail: Debbie Seguin, Assistant Director, Office of Policy, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Department of Homeland Security, 500 12th Street SW, Washington, DC 20536. To ensure proper handling, include DHS Docket No. ICEB-2018-0002 in your correspondence. Mail must be postmarked by the comment submission deadline.
  • Hand Delivery/Courier: Visitor Entrance, U.S. Immigration and Enforcement, Department of Homeland Security, 500 12th Street SW, Washington, DC 20536.
Sample Comment:
I urge you to defend and implement in full the Flores Settlement Agreement. The 1997 Flores Settlement Agreement protects children and ensures that they are safe and treated humanely while in detention. It requires them to be held in the least restrictive setting possible and sets a preference for family unity. The Flores Settlement Agreement limits the time a child can be detained to 20 days.
The regulation currently being proposed would be harmful to immigrant children and families seeking refuge in the United States. Detention for any length of time is inhumane and unsafe for children. The American Academy of Pediatrics has stated that even short periods of detention can lead to increased stress, developmental delay, and psychological trauma.
Longer detentions and weakened protections would be devastating. Detention is no place for children.
WHY IT MATTERS: 
LWV Immigration position states that immigration policies should promote family reunification and should be responsive to those facing political persecution or a humanitarian crisis.
The Flores Settlement Agreement limits the detention of immigrant children to 20 days and establishes basic protections, such as requirements for sanitation, living conditions, and adequate food/water for those immigrant children in detention.
The Department of Homeland Security is proposing new regulations that would replace and undermine the intentions and safeguards of the Flores Settlement Agreement. These proposed regulations would put children at greater risk because of prolonged detentions, longer family separations, and decreased protections.

 

ACTION NEEDED:
Submit a public comment by December 10, 2018 to the US Department of Homeland Security opposing the changes to the Public Charge Rule, “Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds.” See more below under “Why It Matters.”

Submit your comment before the December 10, 2018  deadline.

Please include the docket number, “DHS Docket No. USCIS-2010-0012” for any of these following options for submitting comments:
  • Federal eRulemaking Portal (preferred): the docket on www.regulations.gov.  Follow the website instructions for submitting comments.
  • Mail: Samantha Deshommes, Chief, Regulatory Coordination Division, Office of Policy and Strategy, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security, 20 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20529-2140. To ensure proper handling, please reference DHS Docket No. USCIS-2010-0012 in your correspondence. Mail must be postmarked by the comment submission deadline.
For help crafting your message, see SAMPLE COMMENT below.
WHY IT MATTERS: 
Currently, the Public Charge test to become a legal permanent resident (LPR) or “green card” holder, requires a person show that he or she is unlikely to become a “public charge” in the future. A person can be considered a public charge if he or she is receiving cash assistance (including Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Supplemental Security Income, and General Assistance) and/or if he or she is institutionalized for long-term care at government expense. Now, there is a proposal to drastically expand the list of programs included in public charge determination to include: SNAP, Medicaid (not counting emergency coverage), subsidies for Medicare Part D (prescription drugs), Section 8 subsidies, and public housing.
The proposed Public Charge Rule changes would:
  • Increase fear and anxiety and create confusion in immigrant communities.
  • Result in parents and children forgoing critical assistance for fear of being targeted for deportation, putting them at greater risk of falling into poverty.
  • Effectively create an income test for legal permanent resident applicants.
  • Prevent family reunification.
If these rule changes move forward, they will have negative ripple effects on the health, development, and economic outcomes in our country for generations to come.
The LWV Immigration position states that immigration policies should promote family reunification and ensure fair treatment under the law for all persons. Additionally, this TFA falls under many LWVUS Social Policy positions, including those on Meeting Basic Human Needs, Housing, Healthcare, Equality of Opportunity, and Early Intervention for Children at Risk, to name a few.
SAMPLE COMMENT (Please note that this MUST be personalized to be counted as a unique, individual comment):

I am writing to urge the Department of Homeland Security to immediately withdraw the “public charge” proposed rule. The policy will harm millions by undermining access to essential health, nutrition and shelter for immigrants and their families.  If this rule moves forward, no longer would we serve as a beacon for the world’s dreamers and strivers, Instead, America’s doors will be open only to the highest bidder. This proposal is a step backward, not forward, in creating a more perfect union. THIS ISSUE IS IMPORTANT TO ME BECAUSE:

How to make your message unique:

*Include at least a few personalized sentences to set your comment apart; reflect your own thoughts and experiences and explain why this matters to YOU and/or the League of Women Voters.

 

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