Public Charge: New Barrier for Legal Immigrants

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For Immediate Release:
Contact:
Josie Bacallao
Hispanic Unity of Florida
jbacallao@hispanicunity.org
954-683-2028 (Mobile)
954-342-0298 (Direct Line)

Public Charge: Legal Immigrants’ Latest Barrier to Path to Citizenship

Ft. Lauderdale—August 15, 2019 – Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published the final “public charge” rule that will take effect in 60 days or as of October 15, 2019.  Applications submitted prior to October 15, will not be subject to the new rule.

This rule will make it harder for low-income families or individuals to complete the green card application process, thereby restricting access to the nation’s legal immigration system.

This is a departure from the current DHS policy, in place for decades, which has allowed immigrant families with legal status to seek health care, nutrition and housing assistance without harming their immigration cases.

“We believe that the progress of our state and country will depend on the continued gains of the immigrant and Latino communities, and, to that end, we should support policies that recognize immigrants’ contributions.  This new rule rejects these contributions by dramatically shifting the treatment of legal immigrants and their families. It will inflict significant harm to Florida’s communities”, said Josie Bacallao, President/CEO of Hispanic Unity of Florida, Inc. (HUF).

In Florida, 4.8 million Latinos comprise nearly 25% of the state’s population.  As is the case throughout the country, the immigrant and Latino community’s size, work ethic, and resilience are a critical engine of Florida’s economy.

This new rule will impact nearly 2.1 million Floridians of those, 609,000 children most of whom are U.S. citizens.

In Broward County, 281,000 residents or 15% of its population could potentially be impacted by this new rule.  Miami-Dade County may have as many as 693,000 individuals impacted by the rule or an estimated 26% of the county’s population.[1]

This new rule will have a detrimental impact on our legal immigration system by undercutting one of its essential cornerstones:  family unity.  In FY 2017, DHS reported that 127,609 individuals became lawful permanent residents in Florida.[i]  Once this rule is promulgated, millions of families, including those of mixed immigration status living within the U.S., would find it significantly more difficult to apply for and obtain lawful permanent residence.  And, in the end, U.S. citizen children could be the ones impacted the most by this policy that undercuts family unity.

We believe that this rule will contribute to thousands of people here in Florida, including children, losing access to health care and healthy food, while increasing the number of individuals living in poverty.

In Florida, approximately 529,000 Latino households participate in the SNAP program according to the most recent government data.[ii]  Food insecurity, or being without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable and nutritious food, is already a significant issue affecting Latino communities. In 2016, 18.5% of Latino-headed households reported being food insecure compared to 12.3% of all households. Hunger and food insecurity especially impact Latino children, as 22% of Latino children live in households struggling to avoid hunger, compared to 16.5% of all households with children.[iii]

Loss of SNAP benefits would cause more Latinos, including children, to experience poverty and suffer from hunger and malnutrition.

Media leaks over the past two years on the rule change have already had a chilling effect on the immigrant community. A recently published brief by the Urban Institute called, How Uncertainty Surrounding the “Public Charge” Rule Leads to Hardship for Immigrant Families documents what Hispanic Unity of Florida, Inc. (HUF) and other service providers have already heard from immigrants.

Families with legal status, and eligible for benefits, have been shunning services and refusing to apply for services including benefits which will not be affected such as school lunches in anticipation of this new rule.

Also, many immigrant families who will not be affected by the new rule, also are denying their families much needed services for fear that their immigration status will be hurt.

Numerous lawsuits are expected to be filed by legal and immigrant-serving organizations in opposition to this new rule. Also, members of Congress have already proposed new legislation, H.R. 3222, the No Federal Funds for Public Charge Act, which is intended to neutralize this new rule.

Immigrants should seek out information on the public charge rule prior to making decisions on benefits.

Over the course of the next few months, HUF will launch the Public Charge/Know Your Rights campaign to help the immigrant community make informed decisions.  We will unpack the rule: what it means, who will be impacted and who will not be affected, which benefits will be considered and which will be excluded.

Above all, families should know the following:

  • Use of public benefits alone will not make you a public charge.
  • The public charge test is about what will happen in the future – not what happened in the past. The proposed rule is not retroactive. The rule will consider benefits used after October 15, 2019.
  • The public charge test does NOT consider benefits used by family members. (Unless they also are applying for a green card.)
  • The public charge test does not apply to every immigrant.
  • Many across the country are fighting – including filing lawsuits – to ensure this rule does not take effect.

Follow HUF’s Public Charge/Know Your Rights Campaign on Twitter.

About Hispanic Unity of Florida (HUF):

Hispanic Unity of Florida (HUF) is a non-profit founded 37 years ago by community leaders to ease the acculturation transition for newcomers from other nations. Today, HUF provides assistance through 12 programs and 30+ services in four languages to South Florida’s diverse community. HUF, an UnidosUS Affiliate, is one of South Florida’s largest agencies dedicated to the immigrant population, providing them with the tools they need to build a new life. In 2018, the agency served more than 15,000 children and families. HUF offers assistance at four main office locations and provides extended services at 50+ outreach locations—including citizenship services at libraries, free tax preparation at mobile sites, and education services at public schools, among others.

HUF’s Mission is:

Empowering immigrants and others to become self-sufficient, productive and civically engaged. For more information visit: www.hispanicunity.org or call 954-964-8884, ext. 216

Thank you to Protecting Immigrant Families (PIF) for their ongoing analysis and support on this important “interior” immigration topic, and to Unidos US for their commitment to Latino families. 

# # #

[1] PIF’s 2018_FLpif estimates of “potentially chilled” families with at least one non-citizen family member and under 250% of the federal government poverty.
[i] U.S. Department of Homeland Security, “The 2017 Yearbook of Immigration Statistics.” DHS Office of Immigration Statistics, August 14, 2018. https://www.dhs.gov/immigration-statistics/yearbook/2017/table4.
[ii] Lauffer, Sarah. “Characteristics of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Households: Fiscal Year 2016.” U.S. Department of Agriculture, November 2017. https://fns-prod.azureedge.net/sites/default/files/ops/Characteristics2016.pdf.
[iii] Alisha Coleman-Jensen et al., Food Security in the United States in 2016, Statistical Supplement. Table S-2. U.S. Department of Agriculture. Washington, DC, 2017.

 

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Para Publicación Inmediata: 
Contacto:
Josie Bacallao
Hispanic Unity of Florida
jbacallao@hispanicunity.org
954-683-2028 (Mobile)
954-342-0298 (Direct Line)

Carga pública: La más reciente regla crea retos para los inmigrantes legales hacia el camino a la ciudadanía

Fort Lauderdale —15 de agosto de 2019— Ayer, el Departamento de Seguridad Nacional de los Estados Unidos (DHS, por sus siglas en inglés) publicó una nueva regla de “carga pública” que entrará en vigencia en 60 días o a partir del 15 de octubre de 2019. Las solicitudes presentadas antes del 15 de octubre, no estarán sujetas a la nueva regla.

Bajo esta regla, le será más difícil a las familias o personas de bajos ingresos completar el proceso de solicitud de la residencia permanente (conocida como greencard), restringiendo así el acceso al sistema legal de inmigración de la nación.

Este es un alejamiento de la política actual del DHS, vigente durante décadas, que ha permitido a las familias inmigrantes con estatus legal buscar asistencia médica, nutrición y asistencia de vivienda sin afectar sus casos de inmigración.

“Creemos que el progreso de nuestro estado y el país dependerá de los logros continuos de las comunidades de inmigrantes y latinos, y, con ese fin, debemos apoyar las políticas que reconocen las contribuciones de los inmigrantes. Esta nueva regla rechaza estas contribuciones al cambiar drásticamente el trato de los inmigrantes legales y sus familias. Infligirá un daño significativo a las comunidades de la Florida”, dijo Josie Bacallao, Presidente / CEO de Hispanic Unity of Florida, Inc. (HUF).

En Florida, 4.8 millones de latinos comprenden casi el 25% de la población del estado. Como es el caso en todo el país, el tamaño, la ética laboral y la tenacidad de la comunidad de inmigrantes y latinos son un motor crítico de la economía de Florida.

Esta nueva regla afectará a casi 2.1 millones de floridanos, entre los cuales hay 609,000 niños, quienes son ciudadanos estadounidenses.

En el condado de Broward, 281,000 residentes o el 15% de su población podrían verse afectados por esta nueva regla. El condado de Miami-Dade puede tener hasta 693,000 personas afectadas por la regla o aproximadamente el 26% de la población del condado. [1]

Esta nueva regla tendrá un impacto perjudicial en nuestro sistema legal de inmigración al socavar uno de sus principios básicos fundamentales: la unidad familiar. En el año fiscal 2017, el DHS informó que 127,609 personas se convirtieron en residentes permanentes legales en Florida. [I] Una vez que se promulgue esta regla, millones de familias, incluidas las de estatus migratorio mixto que viven dentro de los EE. UU., encontrarían significativamente más difícil solicitar y obtener la residencia permanente legal. Y, al final, los niños ciudadanos estadounidenses podrían ser los más afectados por esta política que amenaza la unidad familiar.

Creemos que esta regla contribuirá a que miles de personas aquí en Florida, incluidos los niños, pierdan el acceso a la atención médica y alimentos saludables, mientras que aumenta el número de personas que viven en la pobreza.

En Florida, aproximadamente 529,000 hogares latinos participan en el programa SNAP de acuerdo con los datos gubernamentales más recientes. [Ii] La inseguridad alimentaria, o no tener acceso confiable a una cantidad suficiente de alimentos asequibles y nutritivos, ya es un problema importante que afecta a las comunidades latinas. En 2016, el 18.5% de los hogares encabezados por latinos informaron tener inseguridad alimentaria en comparación con el 12.3% de todos los hogares. El hambre y la inseguridad alimentaria afectan especialmente a los niños latinos, ya que el 22% de los niños latinos viven en hogares que luchan para evitar el hambre, en comparación con el 16.5% de todos los hogares con niños. [Iii]

La pérdida de los beneficios de SNAP causaría que más latinos, incluidos los niños, experimenten la pobreza y sufran hambre y desnutrición.

Las filtraciones de los medios en los últimos dos años sobre el cambio de reglas ya han tenido un efecto escalofriante en la comunidad inmigrante. Un informe publicado recientemente por el Urban Institute titulado, Cómo la incertidumbre que rodea la regla de “carga pública” conduce a dificultades para la familias inmigrantes, documenta lo que Hispanic Unity of Florida, Inc. (HUF) y otros proveedores de servicios ya han escuchado de los inmigrantes.

Las familias con estatus legal y elegibles para beneficios han estado evitando los servicios y se han negado a solicitar servicios que incluyen beneficios que no se verán afectados, como almuerzos escolares, en previsión de esta nueva regla.

Además, muchas familias inmigrantes que no se verán afectadas por la nueva regla, también están negando a sus familias los servicios que tanto necesitan por temor a que su estado migratorio se vea afectado.

Se espera que numerosas demandas legales sean presentadas por organizaciones que sirven a inmigrantes en oposición a esta nueva regla. Además, los miembros del Congreso ya han propuesto una nueva legislación, H.R.3222, la Ley de No Fondos Federales para Carga Pública, que pretende neutralizar esta nueva norma.

Los inmigrantes deben buscar información sobre la regla de carga pública antes de tomar decisiones sobre los beneficios.

En el transcurso de los próximos meses, HUF lanzará la campaña Public Charge / Know Your Rights (Carga pública / Conoce tus derechos, en español) para ayudar a la comunidad inmigrante a tomar decisiones informadas. Extraeremos los detalles de la regla: qué significa, quién se verá afectado y quién no se verá afectado, qué beneficios se considerarán y cuáles se excluirán.

Ante todo, es primordial que las familias conozcan los siguiente:

– El uso de beneficios públicos por sí solo no lo convertirá en una carga pública.

–  La evaluación de carga pública trata de lo que sucederá en el futuro, no de lo que sucedió en el pasado. La regla provista no es retroactiva. La regla considerará los beneficios utilizados después del 15 de octubre de 2019.

– La evaluación de carga pública NO considera los beneficios utilizados por los miembros de la familia. (A menos que también estén solicitando una tarjeta de residencia o greencard).

– La evaluación de carga pública no aplica a todos los inmigrantes.

–  Muchos en todo el país están luchando, incluida la presentación de demandas, para garantizar que esta regla no surta efecto.

Siga la campaña de Carga pública / Conozca sus derechos en la cuenta de HUF en Twitter (@hispanicunity).

Acerca de la Unidad Hispana de Florida (HUF):

Hispanic Unity of Florida (HUF) es una organización sin fines de lucro fundada hace 37 años por líderes comunitarios para facilitar el proceso de integración a los recién llegados de otras naciones. Hoy, HUF brinda asistencia a través de 12 programas y más de 30 servicios en cuatro idiomas a la diversa comunidad del sur de la Florida. HUF, una afiliada de UnidosUS, es una de las agencias más grandes del sur de la Florida dedicada a la población inmigrante, brindándoles las herramientas que necesitan para construir una nueva vida. En 2018, la agencia atendió a más de 15,000 niños y familias. HUF ofrece asistencia en cuatro oficinas principales y ofrece servicios extendidos en más de 50 ubicaciones, incluidos servicios de ciudadanía en bibliotecas, preparación gratuita de impuestos en sitios móviles y servicios de educación en escuelas públicas, entre otros.

La misión de HUF es:

Empoderar a los inmigrantes y a otros para que sean autosuficientes, productivos y cívicamente comprometidos. Para más información visite: www.hispanicunity.org o llame al 954-964-8884, ext. 216.

Gracias a Protecting Immigrant Families (PIF) por su continuo análisis y apoyo en este importante tema de inmigración “interior”, y a UnidosUS por su compromiso con las familias latinas.

# # #

[1] PIF’s 2018_FLpif estimates of “potentially chilled” families with at least one non-citizen family member and under 250% of the federal government poverty.

[i] U.S. Department of Homeland Security, “The 2017 Yearbook of Immigration Statistics.” DHS Office of Immigration Statistics, August 14, 2018. https://www.dhs.gov/immigration-statistics/yearbook/2017/table4.

[ii] Lauffer, Sarah. “Characteristics of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Households: Fiscal Year 2016.” U.S. Department of Agriculture, November 2017. https://fns-prod.azureedge.net/sites/default/files/ops/Characteristics2016.pdf.

[iii] Alisha Coleman-Jensen et al., Food Security in the United States in 2016, Statistical Supplement. Table S-2. U.S. Department of Agriculture. Washington, DC, 2017.

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Public Charge/ Carga Pública: DHS Announcement

GV1_4152Today, DHS announced the updated “Public Charge” Rule effective October 15, 2019. Below is their official announcement.

Hoy DHS anuncio la nueva regla final de “Carga Publica” que va ser efectiva 15 de octobre 2019. Continue para leer mas detalles. 

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today announced a final rule that clearly defines the long-standing public charge inadmissibility law.

DHS has revised the definition of public charge to better ensure that aliens subject to the public charge inadmissibility ground, found at section 212(a)(4) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), are self-sufficient. By law, in determining whether an alien is inadmissible under this ground, the government must at a minimum consider the alien’s age; health; family status; assets, resources, and financial status; and education and skills; and may consider any required affidavit of support.

The final rule defines the term public charge to mean an alien who receives one or more designated public benefits for more than 12 months, in total, within any 36-month period. The rule further defines the term public benefit to include cash benefits for income maintenance, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), most forms of Medicaid, Section 8 Housing Assistance under the Housing Choice Voucher Program, Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance, and subsidized public housing.

This list of public benefits in the final rule is an exhaustive list with respect to non-cash benefits. However, cash benefits for income maintenance may include a variety of general purpose means-tested cash benefits provided by federal, state, local, or tribal benefit granting agencies, and only public benefits specifically listed in the rule will be considered. Public benefits not listed in the rule are not considered in the public charge inadmissibility determination. The rule does not include, for example, consideration of emergency medical assistance, disaster relief, national school lunch programs, foster care and adoption, Head Start, or student or home mortgage loans.

This rule also clarifies that DHS will not consider the receipt of designated public benefits received by an alien who, at the time of receipt, or at the time of filing the application for admission, adjustment of status, extension of stay, or change of status, is enlisted in the U.S. armed forces, or is serving in active duty or in any of the Ready Reserve components of the U.S. armed forces, and will not consider the receipt of public benefits by the spouse and children of such service members. The rule further provides that DHS will not consider public benefits received by children, including adopted children, who will acquire U.S. citizenship under INA 320, 8 U.S.C. 1431.

Similarly, DHS will not consider the Medicaid benefits received: (1) for the treatment of an “emergency medical condition,” (2) as services or benefits provided in connection with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, (3) as school-based services or benefits provided to individuals who are at or below the oldest age eligible for secondary education as determined under State or local law, (4) by aliens under the age of 21, and (5) by pregnant women and by women within the 60-day period beginning on the last day of the pregnancy.

The final rule also establishes the totality of the circumstances standard for determining whether an alien is likely at any time in the future to become a public charge, which includes weighing, at a minimum, the alien’s age; health; family status; assets; resources and financial status; education and skills; prospective immigration status; expected period of admission; and sufficient affidavit of support under section 213A of the INA. No single factor alone, including the receipt of public benefits, is outcome determinative: The determination of an alien’s likelihood of becoming a public charge at any time in the future must be based on the totality of the alien’s circumstances and by weighing all of the factors that are relevant to the alien’s case.

This rule also explains how USCIS will exercise its discretionary authority, in limited circumstances, to offer an alien inadmissible only on the public charge ground the opportunity to post a public charge bond. The final rule sets the minimum bond amount at $8,100 (adjusted for inflation); the actual bond amount would be dependent on the individual’s circumstances.

This rule also makes nonimmigrants in the United States who have received, since obtaining the nonimmigrant status they seek to extend or from which they seek to change, designated public benefits above the designated threshold generally ineligible for extension of stay and change of status.

Importantly, this regulation does not apply to humanitarian-based immigration programs such as refugees, asylees, special immigrant juveniles (SIJs), certain trafficking victims, victims of qualifying criminal activity, or victims of domestic violence.

The final rule applies to applications and petitions postmarked (or, if applicable, submitted electronically) on or after the effective date of the final rule. Applications and petitions pending with USCIS on the effective date of the final rule will be adjudicated under the 1999 Interim Field Guidance. In addition, the final rule contains special provisions for the consideration of public benefits received before the effective date of the final rule: any benefits excluded from consideration under the 1999 Interim Field Guidance (for example, SNAP, Section 8 Housing Vouchers) that are received before the effective date of the final rule will not be considered; any public benefits that would have been considered under the 1999 Interim Field Guidance and are received before the effective date of the final rule will be considered in the totality of the alien’s circumstances, but will not be weighted heavily.

In the coming weeks, USCIS will conduct engagement sessions to ensure that the public understands which benefits are included in the rule and which are not.

For more information on USCIS and its programs, please visit uscis.gov or follow us on Twitter (@uscis), YouTube (/uscis), Facebook (/uscis), and Instagram (@USCIS).

Kind regards,

Public Engagement Division

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

_________________________________________________________________________________________

El Departamento de Seguridad Nacional de Estados Unidos (DHS, por sus siglas en inglés) y el Servicio de Ciudadanía e Inmigración de Estados Unidos (USCIS, por sus siglas en inglés) anunciaron hoy una regla final que define claramente la ley vigente desde hace tiempo sobre inadmisibilidad por carga pública.

DHS ha revisado la definición de carga pública para garantizar que los extranjeros sujetos a la causal de inadmisibilidad por carga pública indicada en la sección 212 (a)(4) de la Ley de Inmigración y Nacionalidad (INA, por sus siglas en inglés), sean autosuficientes. Por ley, al determinar si un extranjero es inadmisible bajo esta causal, el gobierno debe, como mínimo, considerar la edad del extranjero, salud, estatus familiar, bienes, recursos y situación financiera, educación y habilidades, y puede tomar en consideración cualquier declaración jurada de patrocinio económico requerida.

La regla final define el término carga pública como un extranjero que recibe uno o más beneficios públicos designados por más de 12 meses, en total, dentro de cualquier período de 36 meses. La regla define además el término beneficio público para incluir beneficios en efectivo con fines del mantenimiento de ingresos o sustento, Seguridad de Ingreso Suplementario (SSI, por sus siglas en inglés), Asistencia Temporal para Familias Necesitadas (TANF, por sus siglas en inglés), Programa de Asistencia Nutricional Suplementaria (SNAP, por sus siglas en inglés), la mayoría de los tipos de Medicaid, Asistencia de Vivienda (Sección 8) bajo el Programa de Vales de Elección de Vivienda, Asistencia de Alquiler Basada en Proyectos de Sección 8, y vivienda pública subsidiada.

La lista de beneficios públicos en la regla final es una lista exhaustiva con respecto a los beneficios que no son en efectivo. Sin embargo, los beneficios en efectivo para mantenimiento de ingresos pueden incluir una variedad de beneficios en efectivo basados en recursos económicos verificados para propósitos generales proporcionados por agencias federales, estatales, locales o tribales que otorgan beneficios, y solo serán considerados los beneficios públicos listados específicamente en la regla. Los beneficios públicos que no están listados en la regla no son considerados en la determinación de inadmisibilidad por carga pública. La regla no incluye, por ejemplo, la consideración de asistencia médica de emergencia, ayuda por desastres, programas nacionales de alimentos escolares, acogida temporal y adopción, Head Start, o préstamos estudiantiles o hipotecas.

Esta regla también aclara que DHS no considera el recibo de beneficios públicos designados recibidos por un extranjero que, al momento de recibir el beneficio o al momento de presentar la solicitud para admisión, ajuste de estatus, extensión de estadía, o cambio de estatus está alistado en las Fuerzas Armadas de Estados Unidos o en servicio activo o en cualquiera de los componentes de la Reserva Lista de las Fuerzas Armadas de Estados Unidos, y no considerará el recibo de beneficios públicos por el cónyuge e hijos de dicho militar. La regla también establece que DHS no considerará beneficios públicos recibidos por niños, incluidos niños adoptados, que adquieran la ciudadanía bajo INA 320, 8 U.S.C. 1431.

De manera similar, DHS no considerará los beneficios de Medicaid recibidos: (1) para el tratamiento de una “condición médica de emergencia”, (2) como servicios o beneficios proporcionados en relación con la Ley de Educación para Personas con Discapacidades, (3) servicios o beneficios relacionados con las escuelas proporcionados a personas que tienen o están por debajo de la edad máxima de elegibilidad para educación secundaria según determinada por la ley estatal o local, (4) por extranjeros menores de 21 años, y (5) por mujeres embarazadas y mujeres que están dentro del periodo de 60 días a partir del último día de embarazo.

La regla final también establece la totalidad de las circunstancias estándar para determinar si es probable que un extranjero se convierta en una carga pública en algún momento en el futuro, lo que incluye, como mínimo, las siguientes consideraciones sobre el extranjero: su edad, salud, estatus familiar, activos, recursos y situación financiera, educación y capacitación, estatus migratorio prospectivo, período esperado de admisión, y declaración jurada de patrocinio económico conforme a la sección 213A de INA. Ningún factor por sí solo, incluido el recibo de beneficios públicos, es determinante del resultado: la determinación de la probabilidad de que un extranjero se convierta en una carga pública en algún momento futuro debe estar basado en la totalidad de las circunstancias del extranjero y con la consideración de todos los factores que son relevantes en el caso del extranjero.

Esta regla también explica cómo USCIS ejercerá su autoridad discrecional, en circunstancias limitadas, para ofrecer a un extranjero inadmisible solo en relación a la causal de carga pública la oportunidad de pagar una fianza por carga pública. La regla final establece el monto mínimo de la fianza en $8,100 (ajustada para la inflación). El monto real de la fianza dependerá de las circunstancias de la persona.

Esta regla también hace que los no inmigrantes en Estados Unidos que han recibido beneficios públicos designados por encima del límite máximo desde la obtención del estatus de no inmigrante o el que desde el que busca cambiar, generalmente no sean elegibles para obtener una extensión de estadía o cambiar su estatus.

Es importante destacar que esta regulación no aplica a los programas de inmigración basados ​​en razones humanitaria, como los programas de refugiados, solicitantes de asilo, jóvenes inmigrantes especiales (SIJ), algunas víctimas de la trata de personas, víctimas de una actividad delictiva cualificada, o víctimas de violencia doméstica.

La regla aplica a solicitudes y peticiones mataselladas (o, si aplica, presentadas electrónicamente) en o después de la fecha de efectividad de la regla final. Las solicitudes y peticiones que están pendientes con USCIS el día en que entra en efecto la regla final, serán adjudicadas bajo la Guía Provisional de Campo de 1999. Además, la regla final contiene disposiciones especiales para la consideración de beneficios públicos recibidos antes de la fecha de efectividad de la regla final: cualquier beneficio excluido de consideración bajo las Guías Provisionales de Campo de 1999 (por ejemplo, SNAP, cupones de vivienda bajo Sección 8) que sea recibido antes de la fecha de efectividad de la regla final no será considerado; cualquier beneficio público que haya sido considerado bajo las Guías Provisionales de Campo de 1999 y sea recibido antes de la fecha de efectividad de la regla final será considerado en la totalidad de las circunstancias del extranjero, pero no tendrá mucho peso.

En las próximas semanas, USCIS llevará a cabo sesiones de enlace para asegurar que el público entienda cuáles beneficios están incluidos en la regla y cuáles no.

Para más información de USCIS y sus programas, por favor visite uscis.gov o síganos en Twitter (@uscis), YouTube (/uscis), Facebook (/uscis), e Instagram (@USCIS).

Atentamente,

División de Enlace Publico

Servicio de Ciudadanía e Inmigración de Estados Unidos

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Meet Lesbia

Thanks to @Citi Foundation #ProgressMakers, Lesbia makes her career dream a reality!

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When Lesbia was very young, her parents made a difficult decision. They wanted a better future for their family, so they moved from Central America to the U.S. to find it.

During that period, her parents were back and forth between the countries, and Lesbia rarely saw them. Six years later, she finally joined them on American soil.

When she started school, Lesbia couldn’t speak English. Other kids made fun of her name. She struggled.

But eventually, she learned to stop caring what other people thought. She realized that this new country held a wealth of opportunities.

As time went on and they worked to adjust to the U.S., other members of Lesbia’s family found Hispanic Unity of Florida (HUF). They referred her, and after obtaining a work permit, she was able to get temporary child care assistance at HUF.

HUF changed Lesbia’s life. She was supported by multiple HUF programs, including Income Support, Financial Literacy, and the Bridge Program, where she completed the Customer Service and Sales Training, as well as the Patient Care Technician EKG/Phlebotomy Training. She’s currently finishing a class in math at Sheridan Technical School, and has a bright future.

Thanks to HUF, Lesbia’s family will no longer live paycheck to paycheck, and she, her husband, and her children will live better lives.

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The Bridge Program at Hispanic Unity opens up a world of opportunities! With the generous support of @Citi Foundation and the Community #ProgressMakers grant, program participants have access to tuition assistance for career pathways in high demand fields, including national certifications in Patient Care Technician (PCT) and Customer Service and Sales Training (CSST).

 

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Meet Marisol

Thanks to @Citi Foundation #ProgressMakers, Marisol makes her dream a reality!

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From Boston, to Puerto Rico, to Miami, Marisol has been following her American dream since birth.

Born in Boston, she spent several years in the historic city before her family relocated to Puerto Rico, where she grew up and attended school.

As an adult, Marisol made the difficult decision to move to Florida in search of a better future for her family. She sought more safety and security. Marisol was excited and deeply committed to grow and thrive in her new home!

Starting fresh presented numerous challenges, however. She struggled to find work while caring for her two beloved children.

Luckily, Marisol found Hispanic Unity of Florida. Her brother had participated in HUF’s Center for Working Families program and referred her.

Marisol took the many opportunities offered by HUF and ran with them. She received income support through gift cards, child care assistance, hurricane relief help, and affordable housing. She also entered the Bridge Program where she became certified through HUF’s Customer Service and Sales Representative (CSR) training.

Shortly thereafter, she was able to secure part-time employment. Marisol says that the training helped her be more in touch with clients and better understand their needs.

The hard-working mother wanted to take things further and thrive in a new career, so she completed HUF’s Patient Care Technician Program (PCT) at Sheridan Technical College – a highly specialized training with a focus on EKG and Phlebotomy.

Countless new opportunities are now available to Marisol, and she plans to move on into the Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) Program. Eventually, she’ll work in a private practice, and she credits HUF for helping her to empower herself and help ensure her family’s successful future.

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The Bridge Program at Hispanic Unity opens up a world of opportunities! With the generous support of @Citi Foundation and the Community #ProgressMakers grant, program participants have access to tuition assistance for career pathways in high demand fields, including national certifications in Patient Care Technician (PCT) and Customer Service and Sales Training (CSST).

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The Immigrant Workforce

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Applicants at a HUF Job Fair  

The Urban Institute recently released a research report titled Upskilling the Immigrant Workforce to Meet Employer Demand for Skilled Workers.

The report – and its two page factsheet – provide guidance for policy makers, workforce organizations – both public and private – employers and funders (such as the ones that support the work of organizations such as HUF’s.)

The report takes a look at the whole US but supplements its findings through site visits and interviews with a variety of stakeholders in three metro areas, Seattle, Dallas and Miami-Fort Lauderdale.

Hispanic Unity of Florida (HUF) participated in the study and shared with the researchers our own insights into the work we do assisting immigrants who are both unemployed as well as, underemployed.

The report’s tables and appendices include information on the top 100 US metro markets. These provide a broad lens through which we can compare and contrast our own situation in South Florida. And although we work with the immigrant community every day, two of the items in the research report particularly resonated for us:

48% Foreign born

South Florida, along with Los Angeles, have the highest number of foreign born residents – 48% and 43% respectively – of any of the top metro markets in the US.  (San Jose’s population also is 48% foreign born but unlike South Florida, 53% of those immigrants have college or advanced degrees. It’s a tech hub, after all.)

How many of us know that Broward County’s percentage of foreign-born residents is nearly 33% – or 3 out every 10 residents?

The implications are significant for our community. Our immigrant population is mostly first generation. And the needs of this population are different then communities where the immigrants are second or third generation or where the immigrants are English literate and highly educated.

Local communities with large foreign born residents must invest in foundational resources to assist these immigrants in their integration – which in turn – benefits the whole community.

At HUF where we serve immigrants from 30 different nations, our work is focused on English language instruction, education (for both parents and children), economic development (employment, small business creation, asset building, health and child care supports) and civic engagement.

Diversity of the Immigrant Community

This from the research report: This diversity within the immigrant workforce—with high numbers at both ends of the educational spectrum—is important context for our focus in this report on opportunities for immigrants employed in lower- and middle-skilled jobs.

At HUF, we simultaneously work with former professionals such as doctors, dentists, lawyers, etc.  as well as individuals who never completed high school. This diversity within the immigrant community requires different approaches to the work community organizations such as HUF undertakes. For us, it means providing core services that are fundamental to all clients while providing “add-ons” such as information on how to have educational credentials certified for immigrants with college or advanced degrees.

Recommendations

“One out of every six workers in the US are immigrants.” The research report’s conclusions offers guidance for all our community’s stakeholders: state and local policy makers, workforce development service providers, funders and employers. Woven throughout the report are the community based organizations that are often at the frontlines of the work with immigrants.

I recently re-read GCIR’s Toolkit on immigrant integration. And the authors said this: “… immigrant integration engages and transforms all community stakeholders, reaping shared benefits and creating a new whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.”

South Florida is at full employment. Now is the time to support and address the needs of our whole community including communities of color and the immigrant community.

(Josie Bacallao, President/CEO of Hispanic Unity of Florida, also is a board member of CareerSource Broward and Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance. She was formerly on the board of the Fort Lauderdale Chamber.)

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Why Is Florida Not Tracking and Sharing Information on the Progress of 290,000 Students?

This article was originally published on June 6, 2018 on the UnidosUS website.

As of this posting, Florida is the only state in the nation to not have a federally approved accountability plan.


On April 20, 2018, the Florida Department of Education (FDOE) submitted its revised Florida Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Plan to the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE).

Hispanic Unity of Florida is a member of a coalition of civil rights organizations that earlier this year during Florida’s Legislative Session, proposed legislation that would align Florida’s school accountability system with the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the largest federal law governing K-12 education. Florida’s current system neglects to factor into its school grades the test scores of many English learner (EL) and Latino students, and fails to use a native language assessment when appropriate for the 10% of Florida’s K-12 students who are learning English.

Effective implementation of ESSA at the state and district level is key to ensuring that educators and ELs have the data and tools they need to become English proficient and academically successful as swiftly as possible.

Under ESSA, in exchange for federal funds, states must track and report the performance of subgroups of students—racial and ethnic minorities, those from low-income families, ELs, and those with disabilities—when assessing school performance.

Florida’s revised ESSA plan, however, sidesteps the intent of the federal law by bundling together the lowest-performing students regardless of subgroup. That means schools that are not meeting the needs of every subgroup can still get a passing grade, and parents are not aware.

The revised Florida plan creates the new “Federal Percent of Points Earned Index” (FPPEI) of which subgroup performance and an English Language Proficiency Indicator will be components. The fact that Florida created the FPPEI is a good sign that the state recognizes its obligation to align the state’s system with federal law. The FPPEI, a new section of a Florida school’s report card, in effect creates a parallel accountability system. The calculation of a school’s grade still does not take into account subgroup performance and English language proficiency. This decision is problematic, confusing and unnecessary.

What’s more, while the federal government urges states, when appropriate, to test students in their native language to better assess what they know—Florida chose not to meet this requirement, despite being home to one of the nation’s largest EL population.

WHY ESSA MATTERS

A recent report by UnidosUS (formerly NCLR) study highlights that Florida educates the third-largest     K–12 EL population in the nation. ELs make up 10% of Florida’s student population; nearly 290,000 students. The majority of ELs—75%—in the state speak Spanish. According to recent Florida state assessment results, double-digit gaps exist in graduation rates and academic achievement between ELs and their non–EL peers.

As a result of the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, it is estimated that Florida is now home to between 10,000 to 12,000 Puerto Rican students. While these students are American citizens, they also are predominately ELs.

For more information about ESSA and education issues impacting the Latino community, visit unidosus.org and UnidosUS’s education-focused website, Progress Report: Ensuring the Success of All Students.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

  • Have conversations about ESSA with parents, teachers, principals, superintendents, candidates and state elected officials. Bring up the “Advocate Questions” in the conversation.
  • Engage parents and other stakeholders in your area by hosting an ESSA meeting at your school or a community-based organization.
  • Follow and Vote: Follow what local and statewide candidates have to say about education. Vote for candidates in the Primary Election on August 28, 2018, and the General Election, November 6, 2018 who are committed to all K-12 students. As voters we can and must make education a top campaign issue this election cycle!
  • Learn more: LULAC Florida will host an Organizational Roundtable and Community Forum on June 15, 2018 in Miami, at the Dadeland Marriott at 5:30 p.m.

By Josie Bacallao, President and CEO of Hispanic Unity of Florida, an UnidosUS Affiliate

To learn more about why activists are urging Secretary DeVos to reject Florida’s ESSA Plan, read this Education Week article.


 

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Office of New Americans of Miami-Dade County Partners with Hispanic Unity of Florida to Launch FREE Citizenship Classes at Libraries throughout Miami-Dade County

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The Office of New Americans of Miami-Dade County (ONA), established to promote naturalization campaigns and citizenship events, recently partnered with Hispanic Unity of Florida (HUF) to launch the Pathways to Citizenship program aimed at helping eligible permanent residents in Miami-Dade become U.S. citizens. HUF, a non-profit established in 1982, has empowered more than 400,000 individuals in South Florida during its 36-year history.

The Pathways to Citizenship program offers free weekly citizenship classes, assistance with the naturalization interview and application, and financial coaching. Classes are open at eight library locations: Little Havana, North Miami Beach, Homestead, Kendall, Miami, Aventura, Sunny Isles and Hialeah. For general information or registration, please visit: http://www.HUFcitizen.org or contact: (305) 562-1796.

HUF is an Accredited Representative by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)—one of 20 organizations in South Florida that possess such designation. DOJ representatives, like immigration attorneys, are authorized to counsel, complete forms, and represent immigration clients during USCIS interviews.

“Miami-Dade County is proud to be a co-founder of the Office of New Americans, created to empower our local communities,” said Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. “Our new partnership with Hispanic Unity of Florida and Miami-Dade Public Libraries will bring the Pathways to Citizenship initiative to new heights ensuring that Miami-Dade residents have the tools they need to realize their American dream of becoming a U.S. citizen.”

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) data shows that more than 88,000 people obtained legal permanent resident (LPR) status in South Florida in 2016. That makes our region, the third highest ranking in the country for people obtaining LPR status, following New York City and Los Angeles.

In the last decade, HUF has empowered more than 12,000 aspiring citizens from more than 30 countries to achieve their goal of U.S. citizenship. In 2017, more than 5,000 eligible students attended classes at HUF and at partnering Broward and Miami-Dade libraries, and more than 30 trained volunteers contributed more than 2,300 hours as instructors last year.

“U.S. citizenship is a crucial step toward improving the social, civic, and economic well-being of children and families– as well as our communities,” said Josie Bacallao, President/CEO of HUF. “Thousands of aspiring citizens are ready to take this critical first step, but they lack the resources to do so. With 36 years of social and civic service to the community and more than a decade of citizenship work in South Florida, HUF is uniquely positioned, in this new partnership with ONA, to connect eligible residents with the resources to naturalize, and well as receive financial coaching and legal assistance.”

The Pathways to Citizenship program led by the Office of New Americans (ONA) of Miami-Dade County and Hispanic Unity of Florida, Inc. is a county-wide initiative made possible with the support from our Corporate Founding Partner Citi Community Development and the generosity of the JPMorgan Chase Foundation. Partners in Miami-Dade County include: Miami-Dade Public Library System and the City of North Miami Beach and their North Miami Beach Library. Media partners include Univision 23, UniMas 69, Amor 107.5, Mix 98.3, WQBA and Radio Mambi.

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