Category Archives: Public Policy/Issues

Updated Public Charge Rule Won't Apply to Many Foreign-Born Residents

Last summer, the United States Department of Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released an updated policy related to the “public charge” rule aimed to limit immigration benefits for people using certain federal programs.  

A public charge is defined as an individual who relies primarily on government programs to meet certain basic needs such as housing, food or healthcare. Among the programs that are used to determine public charge status, the current federal law includes Targeted Aid for Needy Families (TANF) (otherwise known as CalWORKS in California) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). 

Starting February 24, 2020, the Public Charge Founds rule will go into effect, but the pool of immigrants who are potentially subject to this rule is very narrow. 

The rule only applies to immigrants who are in the process of adjusting their current status from a temporary to a permanent lawful immigration status and excludes most of the lawful immigration populations such as Legal Permanent Aliens, Asylees, Refugees, Special Immigrant Juveniles (who can claim a rightful separation from their immigrant parents due to domestic violence, neglect or abandonment), VAWA and U visa holders as well as victims of human trafficking who have an open criminal case against their perpetrators. 

Almost all minors under the age of 21 are not impacted by this rule and certainly no child on public benefits—US-born or otherwise—could cause any parent to be subject to this rule. 

Please visit this link for more details.

Make Your Voice Heard!

Mental Health Services Act Update (Prop 63)

Proposition 63, known as the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA), provides increased funding, personnel and other resources to support County behavioral health programs and monitor progress toward statewide goals for children, transition-age youth, adults, older adults and families. The Act addresses a broad continuum of prevention, early intervention and direct service needs and the necessary infrastructure, technology and training elements that will effectively support this system. The public is encouraged to participate in the MHSA planning process as community input shapes MHSA spending.

MHSA Steering Committee Meeting
The MHSA Steering Committee is open to the public to make  recommendations to the planning, funding and services development for MHSA.   

The MHSA Steering Committee meeting is combined with the monthly Mental Health Substance Abuse and Recovery Commission (MHSARC) meeting in March and October each year. The MHSA portion will begin at 4 pm and both meetings are open to the public. 

Wednesday, March 4
3:30 pm – 4:00 pm (MHSARC) 
4:00 pm – 5:30 pm (MHSA) 
San Mateo County Health Campus, Room 100, 225 37th Ave., San Mateo 

Read the details on what the Committee is working on here. The public is encouraged to participate and get involved in providing input.

Honoring Presidents' Day

Today we honor the founders of a mighty nation and the foundation of a country built upon justice, equality and the preservation of human rights.

That’s why participation in the 2020 Census is so important. It’s our civic duty, and the National Census has been a cornerstone of our democracy since our country began!

Take the pledge to participate in the 2020 Census: www.smccensus.org.

Representing Diversity in the Census

Census 2020 and Privacy

Census 2020: What's at Stake

The next national census is fewer than 60 days away. Every 10 years, the federal government is required to count each and every person living in the country — regardless of citizenship status, age, or criminal history.

Why it’s Important that Everyone Participates

Ensuring a complete and accurate count in Census 2020 is critical for many reasons​, and to ensure that everyone is equally represented so that government resources are allocated fairly. The census is used to make important community decisions, like where to build homes, parks, schools, and roads and where to offer health, childcare, and transportation services. And businesses rely on census data to determine where to open facilities, what products to develop, and how to market their services.

Your Information is Confidential 

Census 2020 will only ask for very basic information, like age, sex, and race/ethnicity. Citizenship or immigration status will NOT be asked.

Continue reading here.

HEALTH COVERAGE EXPANDED FOR UNDOCUMENTED YOUNG ADULTS

Effective January 1, 2020 low income undocumented young adults age 19-25 can enroll in full-scope Medi-Cal coverage and receive care regardless of their current immigration status under the expansion of the Health4All Medi-Cal program.  

Young adults who reside lawfully in the US have been included in the expansion of Medi-Cal under the Affordable Care Act since 2014. This new law allows anyone who resides in the US currently on a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) visa or in an undocumented status to gain access to the same level of health care services as a US citizen. 

Read the details here.

From Neighborhood to Classroom: Complex Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD)

 

Trauma Informed Care

Trauma Informed Care

For many years, conversations around posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have primarily focused on military veteran populations returning from war. Keeping in mind that exposure to life-threatening, traumatic experiences are not just limited to military veterans, efforts are being made to shed light on other groups that are also impacted by PTSD. One of those groups includes students of color in historically marginalized communities.

1 in 3 students of color living in historically marginalized communities display symptoms of mild to severe PTSD.

In other words, youth of color are twice as likely to experience mild to severe symptoms of PTSD compared to soldiers returning from live combat.

Poverty, institutional racism, homicide, and neighborhood disinvestment represent some of many exposures linked to PTSD among students of color. However, the conversation doesn’t end there.

PTSD assumes a person will experience physical, mental, and emotional distress after being exposed to a traumatic life experience. For students of color, that exposure is continuous. Living in a historically marginalized community means that students will return to and experience traumatic events/conditions such as poverty, institutional racism, homicide, and neighborhood disinvestment, on a daily basis. PTSD on its own does not capture the complexity of those experiences. Thus, students of color living in communities with high exposures to such conditions may actually be experiencing Complex Posttraumatic Disorder, or CPTSD.

Read more

« Older Entries