Immigration Policies & Remedies Affecting Survivors

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Proposed Public Charge Policy Changes:

The Administration has issued a proposed regulation that expands the definition of “public charge” and puts immigrant families, including children, at risk if they use public programs to escape and recover from abuse and meet basic needs like food, housing, and health careThe long-anticipated regulation was published in the Federal Register on Wednesday, October 10, 2018, which starts the 60-day comment period (October 10-December 10, 2018) for the public to provide feedback on the proposed rule will have on communities and families

Provide feedback via the DHS Comment Box 

We have updated our Advisory on how this proposed rule will impact immigrant survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, who may need important public supports in order to escape and recover from abuse.

Advisory Revised Oct 2018: How Will ‘Public Charge’ Proposed Policy Changes Impact Immigrant Survivors of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault?

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is planning to propose regulations that discard longstanding policy about the meaning and application of the “public charge” provisions of immigration law. Proposed policies will have a significant detrimental impact on survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault by deterring immigrant families, including those with U.S.-citizen children, from seeking help when they need it. Safety net benefits can help victims recover and escape from abuse and play a significant role in preventing future harm.

Related Resources

Protecting Assets and Child Custody in the Face of Deportation, 2017

This manual from Appleseed Network is designed for immigrants and those who work with them; the host of attorneys, nurses, social workers, religious workers who are stepping up in challenging times. Appleseed’s manual will help families develop plans in advance to deal with critical financial and family issues in the event of deportation, arrest and other family emergencies.

Immigrants in the Child Welfare System, 2018

By ABA Center on Children and the Law, this resource provides guidance on how to navigate seven different scenarios in which children and their families may benefit from support services but face intersecting immigration and child welfare legal needs.

Other Resources

Find immigration legal services:

American Immigration Lawyers Association: a national association promoting justice, advocating for fair and reasonable immigration and policy, and advancing the quality of immigration and nationality law and policy

ASISTA Help: provides national leadership, advocacy, training, and technical assistance to those working with crime survivors seeking to secure immigration status, especially those who have suffered gender-based violence

California Immigrant Policy Center: promotes and protects safety, health and public benefits and integration programs for immigrants in California, effectively combining legislative and policy advocacy, strategic communications, organizing and capacity building. Its resources include the Looking Forward: Immigrant Contributions to the Golden State series and Know Your Rights palm cards in many languages.

Informed Immigrant: Resources 101: Important Info for Immigrants & Allies provides curated information on advocacy campaigns, mental health, immigrant rights, and more.

National Immigrant Women’s Advocacy Program: educates, trains, offers technical assistance and public policy advocacy, and conducts research to assist professionals who work with and/or whose work affects immigrant women and children. Also maintains an extensive web library on immigration, confidentiality, and other topics

National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild: promotes justice and equality of treatment in all areas of immigration law, the criminal justice system, and social policies related to immigration through technical assistance and support to legal practitioners, immigrant communities, community-based organizations, and all advocates seeking to advance the rights of noncitizens

Tahirih Justice Center: serves individuals fleeing violence and advocates for immigration reform that would increase protections for immigrant victims of domestic violence through direct services, policy advocacy, and training and education