Proposed immigration regulations – comment period

Cross-posted with permission from Shari Lane (original post to the OWLS listserve on October 10, 2018). There is still time to file comments!

Two new proposed regulations have been promulgated, and I encourage everyone to comment:

  1. Allows the federal government to detain children indefinitely (overturning the Flores Settlement Agreement), and allows waiver of the existing requirement of state agency oversight over facilities housing children.

    Enter DHS Docket No. ICEB-2018-0002 for Proposed Rule (“PR”) titled “Apprehension, Processing, Care, and Custody of Alien Minors and Unaccompanied Alien Children.” Comment period ends 11/6/18

    There’s so much that could be said about this, but I’ll say only this: the FSA ensures children are not warehoused in detention forever, and the state agencies are currently charged with ensuring child detainees are provided with education, health care, and other minimum standards of care are met. This regulation would eliminate both protections.

  2. Interprets existing “public charge” laws and regulations as likely to disqualify an applicant for citizenship, permanent status, or extension of temporary protected status if the applicant has ever received public benefits. Benefits that will be disqualifying include SNAP (food stamps), WIC (aid to Women, Infants, and Children), and Medicaid.

    Enter DHS Docket No. USCIS-2010-0012 for the Proposed Rule (PR) labelled “Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds.” Comment period ends 12/10/18

    This rule applies even if the applicant only received benefits for a short period of time, right after arriving in the country with nothing, having fled natural disaster or violence, and having followed the proper procedures for authorized entry.

    Some healthcare providers are already reporting that, based on the announcement last month that the rule was going to be proposed, even immigrants who are here legally with applications pending or whose status is up for renewal have been refraining from seeking medical care until the situation is dire, for fear it will result in denial of their application.

Sample language for making the comments can be provided by one of the many, many organizations opposing these regulations. . . . The most important action is to reference the PR number and state your opinion. It only takes a few minutes.

And from a follow-up email:

I did find out that the final version of the proposed “public charge” regulation exempts refugees, and it sounds like it won’t include WIC.

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