Supreme Court rules on health care and immigration cases
On June 28, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld most of the health care reform law. The one exception involves the expansion of Medicaid – the Court ruled that the federal government may not revoke all Medicaid funds from states who choose not to expand their programs using the new guidelines. Advocacy will now be needed at the state level to encourage policymakers to expand Medicaid to cover some of their most vulnerable populations. Visit our health care page for more resources on the decision.
The Court also ruled on Arizona’s SB0170 immigration law, striking down three provisions but upholding the “show-me-your-papers” provision, which requires local law enforcement to ask for proof of citizenship from anyone they stop or arrest where there is a reasonable suspicion that person is undocumented. More resources on the Arizona decision can be found on our immigration page.
- Congressional recess: Both the Senate and House will not be in session from August 6-24. This is an opportunity to schedule in-district meetings with your members. Visit the Senate and the House websites to find your member's website and set up a meeting.
Relief for DREAMers: On June 15, the Obama administration announced it would stop deporting some young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children. While this is a huge victory (after years of asking the administration to do just this) many questions remain about how the new policy will be implemented. Visit our new DREAM resource page for more information.
Border bill: On June 19, the House passed a public lands package containing the “Bishop bill,” which would allow Customs and Border Protection to waive environmental laws on federal lands within 100 miles of our southern and northern borders. The bill is not expected to go forward in the Senate, but similar proposals could be attached as amendments to other bills.
Farm bill: The Senate passed a farm bill cutting $23 billion from its previous level, including $4.5 billion in cuts to SNAP (formerly food stamps). The bill would eliminate subsidy programs while strengthening crop insurance. The Food for Peace program received an overall increase, including a modest increase for purchasing food regionally, which could greatly increase the effectiveness of U.S. food aid.
Theo Sitther will be attending the Brethren in Christ convention July 6-9 in Ontario, California.
Tammy Alexander will co-lead a workshop, "How Do We Talk About Immigration?" at the Western District Conference Annual Assembly in Oklahoma City on July 7.
Rachelle Lyndaker Schlabach will be attending the U.S. Mennonite Brethren convention in Omaha, Nebraska July 27-28 and willl be speaking at the Mountain States Mennonite Conference assembly in La Junta, Colorado on Aug. 4.
In early June we welcomed Kelly Roberts for a summer internship working on domestic affairs. Kelly graduated last year with a B.A. in philosophy from Biola University, and looks forward to finding her place in advocacy work on immigrant and human rights.