Action Alert: Supreme Court Sides with DACA Recipients, Providing Relief for Immigrant Youth and Their Families
This decision emphasizes that DACA is right, and that for DACA recipients and their families: home is here.
Today, the Supreme Court ruled to uphold the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in a 5-4 ruling that said the Trump administration’s reasoning for ending the program was “capricious and arbitrary.”
In the decision for the majority, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote: “We do not decide whether DACA or its rescission are sound policies. We address only whether the agency complied with the procedural requirement that it provide a reasoned explanation for its action.”
Chief Justice Roberts added that the administration could try again if it provided adequate reasons for shutting down the program.
A joint statement from Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy, Comunidad Colectiva, the Hispanic Federation, Action NC and Latin American Coalition:
Today’s decision is a testament to what happens when directly impacted communities demand change. The Supreme Court sided with the American people- who overwhelmingly support the DACA program- and rejected the decision to deport immigrants who are American in every sense except by law.
This decision protects the lives of nearly 700,000 current DACA recipients, including more than 24,000 in North Carolina, and their families from deportation-for now. This decision affirms what we have always known: immigrants make America great. It comes as our country continues to struggle under COVID-19. During this time, DACA recipients and immigrants broadly have played critical roles in supporting our health systems and economy.
Currently, 29 percent of all physicians, 38 percent of home health aides and 23 percent of retail-store pharmacists are foreign-born. Immigrants also make up a large proportion of essential staff in grocery stores, hospitals, sanitation and transportation. According to the Department of Homeland Security, nearly one-third of DACA recipients work in these essential jobs. With this decision, DACA recipients and their families can continue to live safely in our community. Nearly 250,000 children in this country have a parent with DACA status. Since the Trump administration rescinded the program in 2017, immigrant youth, their families and allies across the country have been fighting to protect DACA. While this decision gives needed relief for DACA recipients and their families, immigration and deportation threats are far from over.
Charlotte immigration advocacy groups including the Latin American Coalition, Hispanic Federation, Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy, Comunidad Colectiva, and Action NC call on the Trump administration to respect the decision of the Supreme Court and not try to end the program again. The administration must also instruct U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) not to share information that DACA recipients and their families have voluntarily given to the government with ICE.
As we celebrate today’s decision, we also acknowledge how much more fighting for change there is still to do. While this decision is a welcome relief for many, there is still much to be done to protect the DACA program and its beneficiaries. One step is for people to make their voice heard by voting in the November election.
This decision follows weeks of courageous organizing and protests from Black people and allies across the country to demand an end to police brutality, white supremacy and a call to reallocate police resources in ways that strengthen our community safety net. We stand with the immigrant and Black community and commit to fighting for their stability and safety.
Demand that USCIS immediately begin accepting new DACA applications and continue DACA renewals, restoring the program to its original state before termination.
Call on Congress to pass permanent protections and solutions that help these beneficiaries, including extensions of TPS work permits, protections from deportation for immigrants, and benefits in any future stimulus package to address COVID-19.
Call on state and local leaders to get ICE and CPB out of our communities and sign onto our pledge as well as working to provide free COVID-19 testing, treatment and services for all, regardless of immigration status.
In solidarity with Black people, we call for the investment in community initiatives that strengthen Black and Brown communities, as well as changing laws and enforcement policies to end the systemic mass incarceration of people of color.
An immediate suspension of the Public Charge rule
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The Supreme Court ruled in favor of upholding the DACA program today, but the fight to protect DACA continues.
Share this message with your networks and encourage those who need assistance with DACA to contact Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy for more information on what to do next.
Eligibility for Unemployment Insurance Benefits based on Immigration Status
Undocumented workers are not eligible for North Carolina unemployment insurance benefits.
In general, workers must have valid work authorization during the base period used to determine the benefit amount, at the time they apply, and through the entire period they are receiving benefits.
Unemployment Benefits and Public Charge
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security does not list unemployment insurance benefits as public benefits in public charge determinations.
Self-Employed and Independent Contract Workers
Self-employed, independent contractors, gig workers and others who did not traditionally qualify for North Carolina unemployment insurance and were receiving unemployment benefits through Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation (MEUC) will no longer be eligible for unemployment after September 4, 2021. Find updates on the program here.
Please note there is a special hotline for PUA applicants, 866-847-7209. PUA applicants can also call during additional special hours on Sundays from 12 – 5 p.m.
Fighting Fear with Facts: Helping Families Understand Public Charge
As a member of the Protecting Immigrant Families Campaign, a national coalition of organizations fighting to protect immigrant family stability, Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy has been working to educate the community on the local impact of the Trump administration’s new Public Charge rule.
The rule, which went into effect Feb. 24, expands the types of benefits considered in the “public charge” immigration test administered to immigrants entering the country or seeking permanent residency to determine if they will become primarily dependent on the government for financial support.
This broader definition makes it harder for low-income immigrants to legally immigrate to the U.S. through family-based petitions or adjust their immigration status to become legal permanent residents (become green card holders).
Misinformation around the rule is also creating unnecessary fear for families who are not impacted. Immigrants without legal status do not qualify for most public benefits. Many immigrants with status who do qualify and all U.S. citizen family members are not subject to the rule.
Families are also scared to use resources that are not included in the rule such as Affordable Care Act Marketplace health coverage, local health programs, and school lunches programs.
That’s why families need to seek legal advice and understand their options before making any major decisions.
Medical-Legal Partnership coordinator Elizabeth Setaro has been leading the Advocacy Center’s efforts, appearing in local Spanish media and conducting presentations for families, healthcare providers and community groups that serve the immigrant community.
“Our goal is to help families fight fear with facts,” she said. “When families have the information they need, they can make informed decisions about what is best for their individual situations.”
Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy’s health insurance navigators also participated in a report released last week by the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) documenting the harm caused by the public charge rule before it was implemented. The report shows the chilling effect the rule has had on families using public benefits and seeking health care they are entitled to receive.
NILC interviewed health insurance navigators Andrea Mora and Johanna Parra, who provided firsthand accounts of the fear they have observed from families the Advocacy Center serves. Since the rule was proposed, Mora and Parra have had families who were not subject to the rule insist on withdrawing from benefits out of fear that continuing to use them would jeopardize their immigration status.
The sad part of all this is that, mainly, all these consumers are already green card–holders. They are already residents, so some of them will apply for citizenship in a few years, some of them … have been given the green card …. [W]e have to explain, “You are already a resident, you won’t have any problem because this is a proposed rule that will affect from maybe when you are applying for residency, so that is not your situation.”
Quote from a Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy navigator featured in “Documenting through Service Provider Accounts Harm Caused by the Department of Homeland Security’s Public Charge Rule” published by the National Immigration Law Center.
This continues to happen even though the rule does not apply to most immigrants.
Now with concerns of COVID-19 spread, families may fear seeking testing or care if they worry about negative immigration impacts.
Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy continues to monitor the effects of this rule and is available to help families understand their options.
Learn more about Public Charge and its impact on our community:
Tiene preguntas sobre la “carga pública”? Mire esta presentación de Elizabeth Setaro del Centro Apoyo Legal de Charlotte para conocer cómo la carga pública y si afecta a su familia.
la carga publica?
La carga publica se refiere a una ley
antigua de inmigración que dice que el gobierno puede negar entrada o la
residencia permanente a un inmigrante que probablemente dependa del gobierno en
quién aplica la carga publica?
Personas que ingresan al EEUU con visas de estudiante, laborales o familiares
Personas con visa de estudiante, laborales o familiar que solicitan ajustar su estatus migratorio al estatus de residente permanente
Residentes permanentes que salen del país por seis meses o más y buscan reingresar a los EEUU
quién NO aplica la carga publica?
Asilo o refugiado
Renovación de residencia
TPS, visa U, visa T
Renovaciones de DACA
Estado especial para inmigrante juvenil
Personas aplicando para ciudadanía
beneficios son considerados para la carga publica?
Medicaid (excepto Medicaid de emergencia, menores de 21 años, mujeres embarazadas y nuevas madres)
Programa de asistencia nutricional, “estampillas de comida” o “cupones de alimento”
Programas de asistencia en efectivo (SSI, TANF, asistencia general)
Asistencia de vivienda como Sección 8 y Vivienda Publica
La mayoría de las personas sujetas a la regla no son elegibles para beneficios mencionados.
beneficios NO son afectados por la carga publica?
Todos servicios no mencionados
Mercado de salud, obamacare
Dispensas de alimentos
Asistencia de cuidado infantil
a pasar si uso beneficios?
El uso de beneficios no lo hará automáticamente un cargo publico
Los oficiales de inmigración deben examinar todas sus circunstancias para determinar si es probable que dependa del gobierno en el futuro.
Edad, salud, ingresos, educación, habilidades, otros
Factores positivos se pueden medir contra factores negativos
beneficios en el pasado, como me afectan los cambios?
Los cambios en la ley NO son retroactivos
Solo cuentan beneficios recibidos empezando el 24 de febrero
Beneficios recibidos antes de esa fecha siguen las reglas antiguas
familiar recibe estos beneficios, me afecta a mí?
Beneficios recibidos por los dependientes de un solicitante no pueden considerarse en la evaluación de la carga pública del solicitante
Incluir su nombre en la aplicación de su hijo NO significa que ha solicitado beneficios para usted
Then & Now: A Decade of Justice
In 2010 …
Charlotte was recovering from the Great Recession, which had destabilized thousands of people through job and home loss that eroded financial security.
As a result, Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy saw the overall community need for legal assistance increase by 15%, including an overwhelming need from families facing foreclosure.
The Recession’s effects continued to be felt throughout the decade to shape our community, to define the issues of economic mobility and inequity we fight to address, and to steadily impact the people the Advocacy Center serves today.
As we mark the passing of a critical decade for Charlotte, we’re taking a look back at the work we’ve done to build a more just community for everyone in the Charlotte region.
Our name was Legal Services of Southern Piedmont, a name we had been operating under since 1978.
Number of staff: 19
Today we are Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy! In 2017, we changed our name and celebrated 50 years of service.
Number of staff: 50
Our new name reflects our commitment to providing both individual legal representation and systemic change to advance our mission of pursuing justice for those in need.
Growth to Address Systemic Problems in a Changing World
Since 2010, we’ve launched several projects to meet increased demand for assistance, creatively address the root causes of poverty and support our community’s most vulnerable populations, including:
Life altering decisions are made every day in our civil legal system that directly impact a person’s chance at a stable life and opportunity.
Despite the gravity of these decisions, no one is guaranteed legal representation in civil legal cases, leaving only those who can afford an attorney with true access to justice.
Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy and legal service organizations across the country fight to provide equal justice for all in a legal system that is currently inaccessible for those who lack the money and resources to navigate it.
Federal funding for legal service organizations through the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) peaked in 2010. The funding increase was necessary to support legal service organizations assisting an increasing number of people while having lost key funding resources during the Recession. Funding has not increased since, despite the fact 25 percent more people qualify for legal assistance today than in 2007.
Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy does not receive LSC funding (learn why), but we advocate for sustained and increased funding for our partners that do, such as Legal Aid of North Carolina.
A 2014 impact report from the N.C. Equal Access to Justice Commission showed that 2.2 million North Carolinians qualified for civil legal aid services and 80 percent of civil legal needs of low-income people went unmet.
Affordable housing and protection from housing displacement
By 2010, the Advocacy Center was assisting families who were fighting foreclosure and trying to put their financial lives back together in the wake of the global financial crisis. When the housing crisis peaked in 2009, more than 12 million homeowners were experiencing negative equity across the U.S.
Today, the Advocacy Center helps families and communities navigate Charlotte’s affordable housing crisis as more people struggle to find and remain in affordable places to live. That assistance includes foreclosure prevention; defense against unfair and deceptive sales and purchases; property tax relief; and impact litigation on behalf of tenants to ensure safe and habitable housing conditions under N.C. law, including a class action lawsuit on behalf of residents of Lake Arbor Apartments.
Welcoming Immigrants into Our Community
Charlotte’s Immigration Court opened in 2008 to serve applicants from North and South Carolina. The Advocacy Center’s Immigrant Justice Program began serving applicants who could not afford legal assistance in the court, which quickly gained a reputation as one of the most hostile in the country.
With the Immigration Working Group, the Advocacy Center began the Immigration Assistance Project in 2010 to help unrepresented people in the court, providing consultation, education and referrals to assist them in court proceedings. Since its creation, it has been a vital legal resource to thousands of people that is not available in most immigration courts.
By 2014, violence and instability in Central America generated a wave of unaccompanied migrant children traveling to the U.S.-Mexico border seeking asylum, safety and reunification with family already living in the U.S.
The Advocacy Center launched the Safe Child Immigrant Project to ensure these children had an advocate.
Without our intervention, these children would have had not have had legal assistance to make their case for asylum, special immigrant juvenile status or other forms of relief they were entitled to receive.
Due to an overwhelming backlog, the first green cards from many of these cases were finally granted in 2018, allowing these children and their families to remain safely in the U.S. without fear of return to dangerous situations in their home countries.
This victory is a stark comparison to the current reality for thousands of children seeking relief at the U.S. border. They will not see the same outcome under current federal immigration enforcement, even though they have endured the same hardships and have the same valid claims for relief as these new green card recipients.
The Advocacy Center fought to maintain public benefits that stabilize families, while also ensuring access to them with increased demand for social support after the Recession, including SNAP benefits (food stamps) and the Earned Income Tax Credit.
Today, the Advocacy Center is still fighting cuts and policies that destabilize families at the federal and state level, while helping families understand what is available under changing laws and policies.
Since 2018, the Advocacy Center has fought changes to the federal Public Charge rule to consider use of public benefits to determine approval for people seeking to immigrate to the U.S. or applying for a green card to become legal permanent residents. Confusion and fear surrounding the rule change has led local families who are eligible to receive public benefits to forego support out of fear. Federal courts halted the rule’s implementation in October 2019, and the Advocacy Center continues to monitor ongoing litigation.
Our Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic is educating N.C. taxpayers on new regulations stemming from federal tax reform passed in 2018, while continuing to help taxpayers protect themselves from scams and fraud.
In conjunction with a new state law changed the waiting period for expunging non-violent misdemeanor and felony criminal convictions in 2017, the Advocacy Center began helping Mecklenburg County residents apply for removal of non-violent, eligible offenses from their criminal records. This project sought to remove barriers to economic mobility that come with having a criminal record. In FY19, we assisted 217 people to expunge criminal records in N.C. and advocated for passage of expanded eligibility for expungements in the N.C. General Assembly.
In 2016, the Advocacy Center partnered with Central Piedmont Community College’s Single Stop program to provide legal assistance that helps students overcome barriers to their education and pursue economic opportunity. In the first two years, the partnership provided $72,855 in legal assistance while obtaining or preserving $103,462 in public benefits for students and their families.
Access to quality, affordable health care
The Advocacy Center has been litigating to ensure families have the health care they are entitled to receive under the law through major cases, including:
Pashby v. Cansler, later Pettigrew v. Brajer: The lawsuit, initially named Pashby v. Cansler, was filed in 2011 by the Advocacy Center, Disability Rights N.C. and the National Health Law Program, alleging that the state violated federal Medicaid law and the Americans with Disabilities Act by determining eligibility for personal care services under more restrictive criteria for people living at home than for those who live in institutional settings known as adult care homes. A settlement was reached in 2016, allowing vulnerable citizens who need health services to safely remain in their homes and have their services restored.
Pachas v. NCDHHS: The Advocacy Center brought the case on behalf of a terminally ill man, who had been the primary provider for his wife, two young daughters, and elderly in-laws. Pachas was trying to support his family on Social Security disability benefits before eventually qualifying for Medicaid benefits that covered his medical treatment for a stroke and a brain tumor. Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services determined Pachas’ income was above the federal poverty level based on the level of an individual, not for a family, and required him to pay a large deductible on his Medicaid benefits. In 2018, attorneys argued before the N.C. Court of Appeals that the state was violating federal Medicaid law in applying its definition of family size to determine eligibility for benefits. The N.C. Supreme Court heard arguments on the case in 2018 and unanimously ruled in favor of the Center to vacate the Court of Appeals ruling. The case is now with the Court of Appeals for a ruling on the merits of the case.
Hawkins v. Cohen: The Advocacy Center and the National Health Law Program filed a lawsuit in federal court in 2017 to stop illegal terminations of Medicaid benefits in North Carolina that resulted in a preliminary injunction and a certified class action. The improper actions included due process violations, failure to reasonably accommodate the disabled, and creating barriers to access for recipients with limited English proficiency. The class action is ongoing. As a result, the state changed its computer system earlier this year to stop Medicaid coverage from automatically terminating when a county worker does not timely complete a required eligibility review. Under this programming change, Medicaid coverage for more than 124,000 cases was extended in the past two months that would otherwise have been terminated without notice.
With the first open enrollment season for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Advocacy Center launched the Health Insurance Navigator project to help consumers understand their options and get the health care they needed under the new law.
Since 2013, we’ve helped thousands of people understand their options and get health coverage, while reducing the state’s uninsured rate. The navigator project has been recognized as a national model and received a visit from Sylvia Burwell, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, in 2015.
At the end of 2019, our health insurance navigators completed their seventh open enrollment season, helping residents in Cabarrus, Mecklenburg and Union counties understand their coverage options in a changing healthcare landscape to select health plan that meet their individual needs and budget.
The ACA included opportunity for states to expand their Medicaid programs and close the coverage gap for low-income people to insure all Americans. The Advocacy Center began advocating for expansion of the state’s Medicaid program in the N.C. General Assembly, which has failed to act. Expansion would insure an estimated 500,000 NC residents who make too little to afford private health coverage but too much to receive financial assistance paying for coverage. Expansion also would have lowered overall health costs for residents and spurred an estimated $2.9 billion in business growth by 2020.
Today we are still urging the N.C. General Assembly to expand Medicaid so that more residents have access to health care. Residents like Allan.
The N.C. General Assembly approved changes to the state’s Medicaid program in 2015 that privatized the administration of the program. The Advocacy Center has been working with providers and beneficiaries to make sure they understand what the change means and how to continue receiving health care. The Advocacy Center is also monitoring the change to ensure access under the law. The implementation of the new program was supposed to take place in fall 2019, but it has been delayed due to the legislature’s inability to pass a budget.
Protection from exploitation
To improve quality of life and ensure independence, the Advocacy Center has worked to empower seniors through education, legal representation and specific services that enable them to remain self-sufficient, their property unencumbered and their finances protected through the Legal Services for the Elderly program and other projects.
The Advocacy Center’s Consumer Protection program has continually worked to protect low-income people from scams and bad actors taking advantage of vulnerable groups who lack access to resources to understand their rights as consumers.
Immigrants have historically been targets for exploitation in our country. The current administration’s “zero-tolerance” policy toward immigrants who are undocumented has exacerbated their vulnerability and stoked fear in families, regardless of immigration status.
For 12 years, Mecklenburg County’s 287(g) program facilitated hundreds of deportations by assisting federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in implementing federal immigration enforcement at the local level. The voluntary program directed police to target, arrest and hold residents living in our community without a legal immigration status.
This practice tore families apart, made immigrants vulnerable targets and eroded trust of law enforcement, all while diverting local taxpayer funds away from public safety to enforce federal immigration policy, which is outside the jurisdiction of local law enforcement agencies. The Advocacy Center has long believed this policy has harmed our community by undermining public safety, depriving individuals of due process, wasting county resources, and exposing tax payers to potential legal settlements.
In 2018, the Advocacy Center fought against ICE presence in our courts after officials arrested a woman and her 16-year-old son at the Mecklenburg County Courthouse, leaving her 2-year-old child behind in the court’s day care center as they took her into custody and placed her in deportation proceedings. This woman, Maria, and her son are survivors of domestic violence who were appearing for a hearing in their case.
The arrest became part of a national dialogue on how ICE activity in courthouses negatively impacts public safety and the ability for crime victims, especially victims of domestic violence, to seek justice.
The Charlotte Immigration Court later terminated her deportation case with the support of ICE, allowing Maria and her family to remain in the U.S. as they pursued a U-Visa, which provides protected status to victims of crime. The victory came after months of negotiation with ICE through the partnership of Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy, Comunidad Colectiva and the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild.
In response to increased ICE activity since 2017, the Advocacy Center has partnered with community groups, including Action NC, Comunidad Colectiva, El Puente Hispano and the Latin American Coalition to help individuals understand their civil rights and provide emergency planning for families in the event of family separation through arrest and deportation.
A decade of justice
Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy has covered a lot of ground over the last 10 years, but the gap between access and justice remains wide.
In the decade ahead, Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy remains committed to closing that gap by building a more just community where all are treated fairly and have access to legal representation to meet their basic needs and thrive.
In 2020 and beyond…
We will always fight to ensure
Access to our legal system
Affordable housing and protection from housing displacement
All feel welcome in our community
Access to quality, affordable health care
Protection from exploitation
While the means to accomplishing our mission will change with the needs of our community, our resolve to pursue justice for those in need remains constant. Because we believe …
justice lives here.
Marles Recognized as YWCA Emerging Leader
YWCA Central Carolinas recognized Natalie Marles with the Emerging Leader Award during its Woman of Achievement Awards event Oct. 17 for her work ensuring marginalized people have access to health care, knowledge and justice.
The annual awards event honors three generations of women who exemplify the YWCA’s mission of eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.
An immigrant from Bogotá, Colombia, Marles is committed to social
her work life as a paralegal-advocate for
Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy and personal life working
for the needs of the Hispanic and Latinx community with the
goal of fostering inclusion within the greater Charlotte-Mecklenburg community.
Marles helps low-income individuals get their criminal records expunged through the Advocacy Center’s Community Redevelopment Project, which focuses on improving economic mobility, stable housing and entrepreneurship in targeted communities in the Charlotte area. Criminal record expungements expand economic mobility by clearing misdemeanor offenses that often prevent individuals from pursuing employment and housing opportunities.
Through the Advocacy Center’s Know your Rights and Power of Attorney community workshops Marles has helped immigrants understand their constitutional rights and worked to ensure these rights are upheld. She has become a trusted face in the immigrant community through her professional and personal work.
Marles joined Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy in 2016 as a health insurance navigator helping individuals and families, including immigrants and Spanish speaking residents, understand their health coverage options to enroll in plans that best fit their individual needs under the Affordable Care Act.
After finding limited health services for the Hispanic community in Cabarrus County, Marles established a nonprofit organization called El Puente Hispano (the Hispanic bridge) with other community leaders in 2017 to provide programs that provide support and improve physical and mental health for the Hispanic community in the Charlotte area.
Marles began her local volunteerism serving as a triage
nurse and health promoter for Bethesda Health Center after moving to the
area from Miami in 2009. She also spent two years volunteering as a
Guardian Ad Litem, giving children impacted by abuse, neglect and abandonment a
voice in Cabarrus County.
Marles is a member of the Enlace Charlotte, formerly The Latin American Council, board of directors. She is also part of the Mecklenburg County Latino civic engagement and last year helped launch the campaign “Latino tu voto cuenta” (Latino your vote counts) encouraging people to understand the importance of civic engagement and participation in the democratic process.
9-30 Recap of Healthcare Hot Topics: Access to Care in N.C.
When it comes to health care in North Carolina, a lot is changing. Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy and CareRing recently hosted a policy update to help residents understand what’s changing and how we can protect access to care in our community. Learn about what is happening and use these resources to stay informed.
Medicaid Transformation in North Carolina
North Carolina’s Medicaid program is changing. The state has contracted with private health insurance companies to manage health care for most N.C. residents who receive health coverage through Medicaid and NC Health Choice (CHIP). Find out what you need to know to prepare your family or your patients for these changes.
Find out what these changes mean for you and your family and what you need to do to continue receiving your Medicaid benefits.
Despite misinformation, repeal attempts and significant budget cuts for outreach and advertising, the Affordable Care Act has enabled thousands of North Carolinians to receive affordable health insurance with protections from pre-existing condition exclusions and limits over the last nine years.
More North Carolinians would have access to affordable health coverage and care if the state were to expand it’s Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act by 2020, which would have provided $21 billion in federal tax dollars to the state and created 43,000 jobs.
Because the state has failed to expand its program, at least 200,000 N.C. residents fall into the Medicaid Gap, where their income is too high to qualify for the current Medicaid program while also being too low to qualify for financial assistance to purchase health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.
Despite N.C.’s failure to expand Medicaid, the state’s uninsured rate is at 11 percent and continues to decrease. Last year, Mecklenburg County had the highest number of enrollments in the state with 60,229 residents enrolling in a Marketplace plan; 53,878 received financial assistance, and 16,655 enrolled for the first time.
There are still more than 1 million N.C. residents who remain uninsured but eligible for coverage with financial assistance.
Open Enrollment Nov. 1 – Dec. 15 2019
Navigators are available Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. across Cabarrus, Mecklenburg and Union counties, with enrollment events every Wednesday and Saturday. Make a free appointment today:
Over the last two years, immigrant families have been targeted by policy changes that have impacted their safety, security and stability.
As advocates for health care and immigrant families, we have the opportunity to fight fear with facts.
Immigrants — including naturalized citizens, lawfully present non-citizens and people who are undocumented — make up 13 percent of the U.S. population. The vast majority of children in immigrant families are U.S.-born citizens, which means they have access to the same health care and benefits as other U.S. citizen children.
Shift in Federal Immigration Policies
Increasing immigration enforcement
Removal of legal protections
Reducing access to public benefits
Impact on Health Care Access
Immigrant families, including those with lawful status, are experiencing resounding levels of fear and uncertainty.
Increased fears are having significant negative effects on the health and well-being of children that have lifelong consequences.
Immigrant families have growing concerns about participating in public programs.
What you can do
Understand these policies and how they impact our community
Help patients understand their health coverage options.
Make your voice heard! Hold policy makers accountable to protect and expand access to health care in our community.
Questions? Contact Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy
Conozca Sus Derechos
Usted tiene derechos. Sin importar su estado migratorio. Para protegerse usted y su familia, es importante saber sus derechos.
You have rights regardless of your immigration status. To protect yourself and your family, you must know your rights.
Nuestras organizaciones reconocen que la incertidumbre sobre el futuro puede causarles inquietudes a las familias inmigrantes. Esperamos que estos recursos puedan brindar las familias herramientas necesarias para convertir las angustias en acción.
Our organizations understand that uncertainty about the future creates anxiety for immigrant families. We hope that these resources below can give families tools to transform fear into action.
Juntos, podemos construir una comunidad más acogedora y justa para todas las personas.
Together, we can build a more welcoming and just community for all people.
Judge Promoted by Trump Administration Threatened a 2-Year-Old With an Attack Dog
On March 30, 2016, in an immigration courtroom in Charlotte, North Carolina, a 2-year-old boy was doing what you might expect: He was making some noise. But Judge V. Stuart Couch—a former Marine known to have a temper—was growing frustrated. He pointed his finger at the Guatemalan child and demanded that he be quiet.
When the boy failed to obey his command, the threats began. “I have a very big dog in my office, and if you don’t be quiet, he will come out and bite you!” Couch yelled.
Couch continued, as a Spanish-language interpreter translated for the child, “Want me to go get the dog? If you don’t stop talking, I will bring the dog out. Do you want him to bite you?” Couch continued to yell at the boy throughout the hearing when he moved or made noise.
Kathryn Coiner-Collier, the only independent observer in the courtroom that day, says her mouth was on the floor as Couch made his threats. She sometimes saw Department of Homeland Security dogs sweeping the court building, and it was completely plausible to her that dogs could have been there that day. Coiner-Collier, then a coordinator for a project run by the Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy to assist immigrants who couldn’t afford attorneys, says she “ferociously scribbled everything” Couch was saying. Soon after, she wrote an affidavit containing the dialogue above, and Kenneth Schorr, the Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy’s executive director, submitted a complaint to the Justice Department in April 2016.
Because Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy defends migrant adults, families and children in Charlotte’s Immigration Court, we are extremely concerned by the Trump administration’s recent decision to indefinitely detain migrant children who cross the U.S.-Mexico border.
This week, the Trump administration announced a new
immigration rule that attempts to override policy set by the Flores settlement
to allow the administration to keep families in detention facilities while they
fight their asylum cases.
The Flores settlement has prohibited the U.S. government from
detaining migrant children for more than 20 days. The Flores settlement was
reached because of the inhumane conditions in detention centers and because of
the special psychological and emotional vulnerability of children.
The administration’s unilateral repeal of the Flores
settlement is a shameful attempt to prevent Central Americans from availing
themselves of our country’s asylum laws and to punish them and their children for
seeking asylum by keeping them incarcerated. It is unacceptable.
The new regulations will further erode families’ ability to
seek legal assistance, which is critical for anyone seeking relief in our
immigration courts. Most detention facilities are in remote areas where few, if
any attorneys practice, making it difficult for detained people to get
representation. Only those who can afford an attorney can get the legal
assistance they need.
All migrants, even children as young as 3 and 4, are
expected to fight their own immigration cases against the government if they
cannot find or afford an attorney.
The administration has claimed it is pursuing this policy
in order to avoid “having to separate families [and] allow families to be
released as they wait for their cases to be heard.”
is no law that requires the Department of Homeland Security to hold asylum
seekers pending trial. Contrary to what this administration would have us
believe, the Department of Justice’s own statistics show that most respondents
show up to their hearings in immigration court.
rates were even higher for respondents who participated in the Family Case
Management Program, a program that was started in 2016. Instead of
incarcerating immigrants at the cost of hundreds of dollars a day, immigrants
were released and assigned a case worker who made sure they understood how
immigration court works and what their rights and obligations were. The program
cost about $36 per person per day and had a compliance rate of 99 percent. The Trump
administration discontinued the Family
Case Management program in favor of incarceration.
Center for Legal Advocacy believes all people, especially vulnerable children,
deserve legal assistance when their safety is on the line. That’s why we advocate
for migrant adults, families and children, most of whom, have been subjected to
some form of trauma over the course of their young lives.
cases will take years to process through an overburdened immigration court
system. Now this administration wants to detain them indefinitely as they wait
for their day in court.
This is unacceptable. As a community and nation of immigrants, we can do better.
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