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Insights: Chain Migration and Families; Eligibility Changes to SNAP

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August 23, 2019

Chain Migration: Political Representation and Human Reality

In recent years, chain migration has become a contentious concept in debates over immigration to the U.S. Those who support a particular vision for changes to pathways to legal immigration present chain-migration as a form of immigration to the United States that is constantly proliferating, uncontrolled by current laws and, by its size and nature, a threat to the nation’s security, economic stability, and character.

This framing accompanies the White House’s proposals for immigration reform, which aim to limit family-based immigrant visas to the spouses and minor children of citizens and permanent residents, to divert the majority of visas granted annually into a consolidated skills-based “Build America Visa,” and to work towards “ending extended family chain migration.”

Such an understanding of chain migration has been applauded by those who share the Administration’s desire to reduce the level and change the origins of legal immigration.

In response, some voices on the left have called for the term to be purged from general usage, mistakenly identified it as the creation of racially-motivated anti-immigrant hardliners intent upon rolling back the family-sponsored immigration that has been a key reason for the nation’s growing racial diversity since the latter decades of the 20th century. A third voice in this argument, that of social scientists and scholars of migration, points out that since at least the 1960s, “chain migration” has provided a valuable method for understanding and explaining the process by which individuals and families have relocated throughout human history.

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CCC Critical of Proposed Eligibility Changes to SNAP

The California Catholic Conference (CCC) is sending a letter to the USDA critical of the proposed eligibility changes in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or CalFresh in California.

The Trump Administration’s proposed revisions to the program would terminate SNAP eligibility for more than three million people and an estimated 120,000 California households.

The Conference’s letter pointed out that the proposed rule would negatively affect access to necessary food and nutrition assistance while doing little to support access to programs that support self-sufficiency. In California, one in five children live in poverty. The proposed rule change would take away a state option that gives states the flexibility to ensure their most vulnerable children and families have access to food.

Research shows that childhood exposure to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) like living in poverty is associated with adverse experiences well into adulthood. This includes worse health outcomes, low academic achievement and financial stress.  The research highlighting young women and girls, particularly girls and young women of color, are more likely to shoulder the burdens.

The goal of the SNAP program is to decrease food insecurity and hunger by increasing access to food, a healthful diet, and nutrition education for low-wage households. SNAP provides nutrition benefits to supplement the food budget of needy families so they can purchase healthy food and move towards self-sufficiency.


Planned Parenthood Withdraws from Title X Funding

Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, announced this week it is forfeiting federal Title X funds and withdrawing from the program after the implementation of a new rule that will ban funding recipients from providing abortions or referring patients for abortion services.

Planned Parenthood currently receives approximately $60 million from the Title X, a federal family planning program, but receives more than $500 million from Medicaid.

While it claims that the decrease in funding will result in fewer services, Planned Parenthood’s annual reports have shown a steady decrease in the number of clients served each year while government funding has increased for the organization.

Data shows a steady decline in the number of patients over the last decade, while excess revenues for the organization and taxpayer funding have increased by 61 percent, from $336.7 million in 2006 to $543.7 million in 2016.

Planned Parenthood’s abortion numbers have also increased 10 percent over the past ten years, despite seeing about 600,000 fewer patients.

While Planned Parenthood claims it receives only 3 percent of its revenue from abortion services, many have questioned its accounting practices, which separates abortion procedures into discrete categories. Many claim it is likely closer to one-third of its revenue is generated from abortions. The organization has publicly stated contraceptives represent one-third of its revenue. 


USCCB Applauds Proposal to Prevent Discrimination Against Faith-Based Contractors

Chairmen of three committees of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) expressed support for proposed regulations from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) clarifying religious protections that may be invoked by federal contractors, including faith-based organizations.

“Faith-based groups should have the opportunity to compete on a level playing field as they seek to partner with the federal government to provide critical social services,” said the Bishops. “These proposed rules protect religious liberty, a core constitutional right, by clarifying existing religious exemptions consistent with federal law and recent Supreme Court precedent. We are grateful to the Administration for taking this step, and we look forward to filing more detailed public comments with OFCCP.”

Visit USCCB for the complete story.


Act Now on These Alerts

The end of the legislative session is just around the corner and lawmakers are quickly moving bills through both houses and off the floors. Please take a moment to send emails using these alert links to ensure the Catholic voice is heard in the State Capitol.

In observance of Labor Day, Public Policy Insights will return on September 6.


August 23, 2019
Vol. 12, No. 23