Lynn's List for Week of October 15th
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        A Weekly List of Advocacy Items
October 15, 2018

The list is a bit long this week because there was no list last week.  Be aware that the first item has a comment deadline of Monday (Tomorrow)!  Because it is a rule change comment, it can be done as soon as you get this Lynn’s  list. If you are new to Georgia Women, the list and the scripts are meant to be suggestions. They are based on our core principles.

Protection of Civil Liberties
ALERT: The Administration plans to drastically curtail protests in DC, shutting down space in front of White House, charging larger fees, and banning stages and sound systems from use at rapid-response demonstrations. The deadline for commenting is Monday, October 15th

1. Click on the link below or copy and paste it into your browser with the suggested script: 
These proposed regulations constitute an abrogation of free speech and assembly, and are not reasonable restrictions based on time, place, and manner, nor are they narrowly tailored to ANY government interest.

The Turkish government told U.S. officials that it has audio and video recordings proving Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul this month. Historically, the United States has been the worldwide leader in human rights and sanctioned countries for human rights violations. 

2. Contact Senators Isakson and Perdue and Congressman Scott or Bishop with the suggested script:  My name is (----) and I’m from (----). The U.S. has historically been the leader in human rights, setting an example for the world. In keeping with that tradition, and in light of the suspect disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi from the Saudi Arabian Embassy, Congress must refuse to authorize the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia. I am counting on you to make a statement that the U.S. stands for human rights and Georgians put people before money.  

The administration has failed to solve the issue of immigrant children being separated from their parents at the border. In case you hadn’t read, a five year old Honduran girl signed her rights away and was deported with no notice given to her family in Honduras of her return!

Additionally, as of October 1, 2018 more than 1,600 migrant children were sent to a barren tent city in Tornillo, a city in west Texas. They do not receive schooling and have limited access to legal representation. The tent city is expected to expand to 3,800 by the end of the year.  The Administration opened the facility because shelters housing migrant children are overflowing.  A tent city is considered an “emergency shelter” and is thus unregulated, except for a loose set of guidelines crafted by the Department of Homeland Security which oversees it. The guidelines do not require schooling.  Access to legal services at the tent city is limited. Undocumented immigrant family members are hesitant to come forward to claim children because, if they do, the family members are fingerprinted and could face deportation themselves.

A bipartisan bill was introduced in the House last week that bars the government from using a sponsor's undocumented status as a reason to deny releasing a child to them, and it would prevent DHS from using information provided by a potential child sponsor to arrest or deport an undocumented immigrant. 

3. Contact Congressman Bishop or Scott with the suggested script:  
My name is (----) and I’m from (----). There is a crisis in which undocumented children being held in detention facilities and tent cities. Experts agree that there will be permanent harm to these children and it is our moral responsibility to ensure that the harm that has already been inflicted is minimal. A bipartisan bill was introduced last week that would begin to solve this problem. The bill would bar the government from using a sponsor’s status to deny releasing a child to them. Cosponsor this bill and use your considerable influence to bring this bill to the House for a vote.

The White House is actively considering plans that could again separate parents and children at the US - Mexico border, hoping to reverse soaring numbers of families attempting to cross illegally into the United States. One option under consideration - the Binary Choice option, is for the government to detain asylum-seeking families together for up to 20 days, then give parents a choice — stay in family detention with their child for months or years as their immigration case proceeds, or allow children to be taken to a government shelter so other relatives or guardians can seek custody of them.

Contact the following departments at the below listed email addresses and phone numbers with the suggested script:  My name is (----) and I’m from (----). I oppose any attempt to separate immigrant families including the Binary Choice plan being considered. The government should not detain families who present no flight risk or danger. It is deeply troubling that this Administration continues to look for ways to cause harm to small children.

Department of Homeland Security                       
                                             Comment Line: 202-282-8495
Department of Health and Human Services
                                            Comment Line: 877- 696-6775                                  
The Administration proposed a change to longstanding immigration policy, called the Public Charge ruling. It requires immigrants seeking to improve their status in the US be able to support themselves and not be dependent on the government to survive. In other words, you must not be a “public charge.” This policy only applies to those here in the United States legally. Undocumented residents are not eligible for public assistance. 

The policy change would most acutely harm children, many of whom are U.S. citizens. To understand how the rule changes  affect Georgians, you need a little data. Nearly 492,000 Georgia children (21%) have at least one foreign-born parent. Almost all of them (432,000) are U.S. born and, therefore, citizens of the United States. As citizens, those children are eligible to receive public benefits, if they meet certain qualifications, just like all of us, even if their parents are not eligible. The rule would make it such that, assessing those benefits could hurt the parents’ abilities to improve their status in the US and to obtain citizenship.

The benefits being considered as a part of the public charge ruling change include:  Non-emergency Medicaid and SNAP benefits (food stamps); Medicare Part D and a lot of Housing Assistance, including Section 8 Housing.

The rule change would lead to immigrants lawfully in the U.S, and their U.S. citizen children, to forgo critical benefits such as health coverage and food assistance.  Some people will face the incredibly difficult choice between jeopardizing immigration status or forgoing benefits they or their family qualify for, and need. The proposal poses serious harm to Georgia immigrants lawfully in the U.S. who are trying to obtain a green card, their U.S. citizen children, and their close family members seeking to enter the country through proper channels.

I include this here because I want you to take some time to ponder what the Administration is trying to do to U.S. citizens and their mixed status families.
Watch for news reports on this over the next few weeks. 
This is a cruel attack on legal immigrants.
It will hurt children.

The public comment period has started and will last 60 days.  
Next week, I will include scripts for you to use when commenting.  
It is important for the scripts to be individualized to be considered.

Protection of the Environment
Recent scientific studies by the United Nations Intergovernmental Scientific Panel paints a dire picture of  the immediate consequences of climate change. The world’s leading climate scientists have warned there are only a dozen years for global warming to be kept to a maximum tipping point of 1.5o C. Beyond that point, even half a degree will significantly worsen the risks of drought, floods, extreme heat and poverty for hundreds of millions of people.

Contact Senators Isakson and Perdue and Congressman Scott or Bishop with the suggested script:  
My name is (----) and I’m from (----). Urgent and unprecedented changes are needed to stem the consequences of climate change according to numerous scientists, most recently by the U.N. Intergovernmental Scientific Panel. The administration is currently planning to roll back emission standards for methane. What is the Senator (or Congressman) doing to ensure that the effects of climate change are minimized so that extreme heat, drought, floods, and food shortages are not the future of our children, grandchildren and further generations? The problem of climate change will not go away by ignoring it or denying scientific proof.

THERE ARE ONLY 3 WEEKS UNTIL THE MIDTERM ELECTIONS!   Early voting starts Monday October 15, 2018.

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