Trump Administration Issues SNAP Regulations to Deny Food Benefits to Those Most Vulnerable

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  

December 9, 2019 

  

Contact: Elana Needle  

201-248-9724  

 

WASHINGTON—Last week, the administration announced it had finalized a proposed rule that would result in nearly 700,000 people losing access to food benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps. The proposal is one of three that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has issued that would collectively result in 3.7 million fewer people receiving critical food assistance on average each month. Additionally, millions more would see reductions in their monthly benefits, including nearly one million students who would lose automatic access to free or reduced-price school meals. 

 

We oppose these rule changes as they will have far-reaching and painful impacts on the communities of color we serve and represent, specifically those already vulnerable low-income and working families that would be forced to make impossible decisions between putting food on their tables and paying for the other vital necessities of life. SNAP, our nation's most effective anti-hunger program, is also an important poverty alleviator. In 2015 alone, SNAP lifted an estimated 8.4 million people out of poverty. As a result of this rule, people of color will bear a disproportionate burden of lost benefits due to higher unemployment rates and ongoing structural racism of labor markets. The timing of these cuts, which will cause many families to go hungry during the holiday season, is especially cruel. In fact, these cuts were previously rejected by Congress during the 2018 Farm Bill reauthorization. The Racial Equity Anchor Organizations call on the Administration to reconsider its position on the rule changes and demand Congress take immediate action. 

 

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Advancement Project, National Office, Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, Demos, Faith In Action, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, National Congress of American Indians, National Urban League, Race Forward, and UnidosUS are a collaborative of nine leading national Racial Equity Anchor Organizations supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Together we work to promote racial equity, advance racial healing, and ensure that all children, families and communities have genuine opportunities to reach their full potential. 

National Racial Justice Coalition Sees Promise in SCOTUS Ruling to Block Addition of Citizenship Question in 2020 Census

Nine of the leading national civil rights and racial justice organizations commend the SCOTUS ruling that blocks the citizenship question from being included in the 2020 Census. And yet, we remain cautious and steadfast against any pending arguments to add the question at a later date. The Commerce Department and the Census Bureau should immediately proceed with preparations for a 2020 Census that does not include the citizenship question.  

The question has not appeared on the decennial Census since the 1950s, and earlier in the year, lower courts ruled that the question was unconstitutional because it would impair the government's ability to carry out the constitutional mandate for a head count of every person living in the U.S., regardless of citizenship status.   

Census Bureau research, racial justice organizations, and immigrant rights advocacy groups all concluded that this untested question would have interfered with the critical goal of a fully accurate Census. This is a win for democracy today, but it is temporary; the fight for a full and fair count is not over.  We must continue to be resolute in blocking the administration from taking aggressive steps to alter this decision.  

Our organizations are committed to doing everything in our power to ensure a full and accurate 2020 Census. Immigrants must be encouraged to respond to the Census to ensure that their communities are fully counted and that they receive the full share of federal resources to which they are entitled.  

This is an “all hands on deck” moment. We must all stand up for the representation and budget allocations our communities deserve by participating in the 2020 Census. Now is the time to call on Congress to appropriate more resources to ensure preparedness, effective outreach, and to deploy workers to reach the hardest-to-count communities. Our organizational coalition remains deeply committed to working with our communities to ensure that they are accurately counted and represented in the 2020 Census.  
 

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Advancement Project National Office, Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, Demos, Faith in Action, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, National Congress of American Indians, National Urban League, Race Forward, and UnidosUS are a collaborative of nine leading national racial equity anchor organizations (the Anchors) supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Together, we work to promote racial equity, advance racial healing, and ensure that all children, families, and communities have opportunities to reach their full potential.   

Race Forward Statement on Hate-Motivated Mass Violence at Christchurch, New Zealand Mosques

We are heartbroken and angered by the mass violence at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand which has left 50 people dead and dozens injured. We send our deepest sympathies to the family members of victims and to the survivors. We also stand in solidarity with our Muslim sisters, brothers, and non-binary siblings in New Zealand and here in the United States. And we take comfort in the Māori saying, Kia Kaha (stay strong), to affirm our organization’s commitment to equity, dignity, and safety for all.

Sadly, the hate violence in New Zealand, fueled by white nationalist, anti-immigrant, and anti-Muslim ideologies, isn’t an isolated occurrence. In the recent past, we have witnessed white nationalists attacking our safe houses of worship here in the United States, from the Pittsburgh Tree of Life synagogue (2018), the Sikh Gurdwara of Wisconsin (2012), and the historic African American Emanuel AME Church in Charleston (2015). White nationalist groups, including those that target Muslims and Jews, are organizing around the United States, and we must not diminish or deny the danger of white nationalist violence here at home or around the world.

We also recognize that the narratives that drove these acts of violence are not merely hateful and despicable, but deadly. When white nationalist ideas and conspiracy theories are weaponized, they have bloody consequences. President Trump and other leaders have fostered the spread of such toxic ideas by excusing them or advancing them. We call on all to challenge these narratives of hate, denigration, and violence and to build power for racially just narratives that lift up the values of justice, dignity and safety for all.

At Race Forward, we are committed to building and supporting the institutions that protect a just, pluralistic, multi-racial democracy. This means that we will double down on our work to dismantle and disempower white supremacist policies and practices, and to center vulnerable communities. We offer our support to Muslim organizations and communities, and reaffirm our commitment to mutual liberation. We call upon elected leaders to condemn all forms of racism, and to take steps to preserve the rights and lives of communities under threat.

Race Forward Statement On National Emergency Declaration for Southern Border Wall

In America, there are many national emergencies that warrant sweeping governmental response, from institutional and structural racism that results in deep and pervasive racial inequities across every indicator for success, to increased organizing by white nationalists espousing racism and anti-Semitism, to the systemic and targeted violence against people who are transgender.

Instead, President Trump has manufactured a crisis at the southern border to declare a national emergency, undermine our democratic processes, and build a racist, wasteful and unnecessary wall. This monument to hate reflects the Trump Administration’s xenophobic political agenda, one that has banned Muslims from entering the United States, separated an unknown number of children from their parents’ arms and put them in cages, and blocked people from lawfully seeking asylum at our borders.

As a racial justice organization, Race Forward rejects the Trump Administration’s fear-mongering rhetoric and its white supremacist policies of hate and division.

Rather, we support border communities and the people and families seeking refuge. We stand in solidarity with all who are mobilizing at Presidents Day protests around the country. And, we applaud local governments and leaders, many of whom are members of the Government Alliance on Race and Equity, who are speaking out against the border wall and focusing on the actual emergencies in communities around the country.

Race Forward AgitArte Statement at Facing Race

We at Race Forward are deeply committed to advance narratives that center the voices and stories of people of color through art and culture. The Facing Race conference will continue to be a forum that helps us to imagine and build a just multiracial society.

We became aware this morning that an art piece presented by the organizers of the AgitArte exhibition was taken down. The art was not removed at our request, and we condemn this act of censorship. We are working now to ensure that this work of art continues to be prominently placed for all of our conference attendees to see and engage with. We will also revise our policies and contracts with our conference and event venues, so that this type of censorship does not occur again.

The art that was taken down elevates the plight of people of Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, and the abject and intentionally negligent response by the U.S. government, namely FEMA and the U.S. Military. We strongly believe in the power of art to catalyze conversations about the needs of the most disenfranchised and marginalized communities.

We thank our partners at AgitArte for bringing this matter to our attention, and for their fearless and revolutionary art that inspires thought, heart and action.

Race Forward Statement on Tree of Life Synagogue Shooting

We are both saddened and horrified by the deadly attack on Tree of Life * Or L’Simcha Congregation in Pittsburgh, PA. We stand against anti-semitism in all its forms, and in solidarity with the Jewish community in Pittsburgh and with Jewish communities across the U.S.

The spate of white nationalist violence targeting people of color inside safe sanctuaries has been increasingly frequent and violent in recent years. The massacres at Tree of Life synagogue, the Sikh Gurdwara in Oak Creek (Wisconsin) in 2012, the Emanuel AME Church (Charleston, SC) in 2015, and just earlier last week, the murder of two African Americans by a shooter in Louisville, KY, who attempted to go into a Black church first, are all connected; these are terrorist acts, carried out by a movement whose broader aim is to deepen divisions and take over our civic institutions.

We recommit to a vision of love and mutual understanding in this moment of tragedy, and remain undeterred in our fight for an inclusive multi-racial democracy—one that ensures the safety and dignity of all communities. We stand in solidarity with all Jews across the country, and as a racial justice organization, we lift up Jews of color in our communities, and reaffirm our commitment to advancing racial justice at the intersections of racism and anti-semitism.

Attack on the Transgender Community Is an Attack on Racial Justice

According to The New York Times, the Trump administration is seeking to legally define gender as a “biological, immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth.” This regressive proposal would magnify the harm that at least two million transgender people in this country already face on a daily basis—whether being denied access to healthcare, employment, housing, or basic civil rights.

This proposal, like many others before it, would particularly harm transgender and gender non-conforming (TGNC) people of color, who are fighting to survive in a society that devalues their lives because of systemic racism and transphobia. In just the past two years, we have seen this administration doubling down on the criminalization of Black communities, immigrant communities, Muslim communities, and more. It is important to remember that TGNC people are a part of these communities and are often most adversely impacted by the actions of this administration.

We also recognize that this administration’s attempts to legally narrow the definition of gender is part of a pattern of tactics meant to divide us and distract us from their attacks on our bodies, our communities, and our democratic institutions. Just as their attacks are interconnected, so is our liberation.

As we continue to fight this proposal, we listen to the practical advice shared on Colorlines by Key Jackson, Director of Movement and Capacity Building at Race Forward, and Malcolm Shanks, Senior Trainer and Content Coordinator at Race Forward.

At Race Forward, we amplify this advice and encourage you to:

  • Be racially explicit about the impact of legally narrowing the definition of gender on TGNC people of color.
  • Reject the notion that transgender justice is a wedge issue. Instead, we assert that affirming the full humanity of TGNC people, particularly TGNC people of color, leads us to more just world that is fair and beneficial for everyone.
  • Lift up the leadership of TGNC people of color, who have been at the forefront of both transgender and racial justice movements at home and across the globe.

We recognize the impact of this proposal on TGNC communities, particularly TGNC communities of color. We stand together with our TGNC staff, partners, and other movement leaders of color who are resilient in their struggle for liberation. As Key and Malcolm share:

“Amid all of the chaos and fear mongering, it is imperative that we as transgender and gender nonconforming folks remember who we are in relationship to one another, not just who we are to the state. We are creativity, vitality and life. We are healers and freedom fighters, parents, lovers, siblings and friends. We have been creating an existence within systems and structures that do not seek to serve us for centuries. Community care is life. Consider who it is that you are accountable to and reach for them. Check in on your folks, cook for one another, rage, reflect and cultivate joy.”

 We encourage all people, including cisgender people, to take action, amplify this issue through your networks, and to support groups, particularly led by and for TGNC and queer people of color.

These groups include, but are not limited to: Trans Women of Color Collective, BreakOUT!, Casa Ruby, Transitions Louisiana, Louisiana Trans Advocates, TransLatin@ Coalition, Trans Justice Funding Project, Marsha P. Johnson Institute, Sylvia Rivera Law Project, Audre Lorde Project, FIERCE, Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement, Two Spirit Nation, Black Trans Advocacy, Southerners on New Ground (SONG), Black Alliance of Just Immigration, National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance, GSA Network, Trans Lifeline, Transgender Law Center.

 

 

Trump Administration Targets Children & Families in Communities of Color in Latest Immigration Regulation

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WASHINGTON (September 24, 2018) – On September 22, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced it would issue a proposed regulation that would severely curtail the ability of immigrants to secure a green card by expanding the definition of “public charge” to include individuals who access non-cash safety-net programs such as health insurance, nutrition programs and low-income housing. Green card applicants who are deemed a public charge can be denied permanent residency. The proposed rule will be published in the coming days by the Department of Homeland Security and will not only have a detrimental effect on individuals seeking green cards, but also their children.

We are concerned that the proposed rule change will have far reaching consequences and discourage immigrants and their families from participating in public programs such as some forms of Medicaid, Medicare Part D, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and housing assistance, even if they are eligible, by threatening their immigration status if they use such programs. These changes are meant to punish immigrants whom the Trump Administration believes are not deserving to stay in the United States.

Advancement Project national office, Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, Demos, Faith In Action, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, National Congress of American Indians, National Urban League, Race Forward and UnidosUS are a collaborative of nine leading national racial equity anchor organizations supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Together we work to promote racial equity, advance racial healing and ensure that all children, families and communities have genuine opportunities to reach their full potential.

Race Forward, National Council of American Indians and More Announce Opposition to Washington NFL Team Name

Nine leading national civil rights and racial justice organizations formally announced their joint opposition to the Washington NFL team locating its new stadium in the District of Columbia unless the team agrees to drop the “R-word” racial slur as its mascot. The coalition, which previously denounced the team’s continued use of this offensive mascot, felt compelled to speak out now given the team is actively exploring potential stadium sites across the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.

“In 2018, no other people of color must confront the harm and ridicule levied by a sports team whose name refers to the color of their skin,” Derrick Johnson, President and CEO of the NAACP, stated. “It is long past time that the NFL and its Washington franchise throw this dictionary-defined racial slur into the dustbin of history, where it belongs.”

“The need to recognize and respect the humanity of all of our fellow Americans is more critical than ever to the future of our nation. The prospect that our nation’s capital would once again be adorned with this derogatory term runs counter to that ideal,” said Kathy Ko Chin, President and CEO of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum. The coalition takes particular exception with various proposals to locate the new stadium on the site of the team’s former home, Robert F. Kennedy (RFK) Memorial Stadium. That stadium’s namesake was an ardent champion of equality for communities of color, notably this country’s First Americans.

Events DC, the city’s official convention and sports authority, is planning a major redevelopment project at the site that will serve “as a place of remembrance and a place of teaching and practicing the civil rights and equality ideals Robert F. Kennedy championed.” “We applaud Events DC’s decision to honor Robert Kennedy’s legacy of racial justice in this place in this way. The Washington NFL team and its symbol of racial injustice should be no part of it,” said Janet Murguía, President and CEO of UnidosUS.

 
“The R-word is the moral equivalent of the N-word,” said Marc H. Morial, President and CEO of the National Urban League. “It packs the same level of bigotry and insensitivity for Native Americans as any other racial slur. We cannot tolerate the NFL’s continued commitment to normalizing this demeaning characterization of Native Americans. The success of the Washington football franchise does not depend on the name of its team, but rather the talent of its players and leadership. The NFL must abandon its tone-deaf culture as it relates to people of color and change the hurtful name of this team.”
 
“We thank our racial equity colleagues for locking arms in solidarity with Indian Country as we grow this decades-long movement to eradicate offensive Native-themed mascots from the sports landscape once and for all. We call on D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and the D.C. City Council to stand firm in its stated opposition to the team relocating to the District as long as it retains its current name and mascot,” stated Jacqueline Pata, Executive Director of the National Congress of American Indians. “We also welcome other organizations, governments, corporations, sports leagues, and everyday Americans to likewise choose to stand on the right side of history.”
 
#ChangeTheMascot
 
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Learn more about the #ChangeTheMascot 

The Change the Mascot campaign is a civil rights and human rights effort asking the NFL to stop using a
dictionary-defined racial slur as the name of the Washington football team. Download more info about the campaign.

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Advancement Project, Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, Demos, Faith in Action, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, National Congress of American Indians, National Urban League, Race Forward, and UnidosUS are a collaborative of nine leading national racial equity anchor organizations (the Anchors) supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Together, we work to promote racial equity, advance racial healing, and ensure that all children, families, and communities have opportunities to reach their full potential. 
 
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Contact: 
Erin Weldon | [email protected] | (202) 466-7767
K. Kim Atterbury | [email protected] | (202) 629-5750
 

Race Forward: Systemic Racism at Root of Latest Exec. Order on Immigration

The human rights catastrophe occurring on our borders and in detention centers across the country is not, and never has been, about keeping America safe. This has never been about protecting children. This has never been about upholding the rule of law. This has always been about race.

Federal immigration enforcement is explicitly targeting emigrants of color, from South America to Africa to South Asia and the Middle East. Teenagers seeking legal asylum are arrested and forced into detention centers, with no path to freedom in sight. Naturalized citizens are hunted down in their communities and deported  as their children are shipped into foster care. Children are being torn from their mother’s arms as a deterrent to dissuade desperate families from fleeing certain violence.

These inhumane immigration policies are—and always have been—rooted in white supremacy built on the systemic criminalization, commodification, and dehumanization of Black, brown, and indigenous bodies.

Under the guise of keeping families together, the president’s new executive order shifts the act of undocumented entry into the U.S. from a civil violation to a criminal offense as a means to justify full prosecution and indefinite detainment of migrant families. Since its inception, the U.S. has established people of color as criminals and aliens; as sub-human beings who must be separated from broader society and whose systematic oppression can be used as a tool for profit. 

The solution to ending the tears of traumatized children is not building bigger cages to house the entire family. Systemic racism denies our humanity as a means of denying our freedom and political power. It’s a tactic that has been deployed for centuries. And we can’t allow it to continue.

Our collective fight must center around freedom, dignity, and safety for all families. Race Forward is committed to partnering with, supporting, and standing in solidarity with communities and grassroots groups across the country who are working to end systemic racism in all of its manifestations. Here are five ways you can help support detained immigrant families today

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Learn more about how you can help support groups working to end the detention of immigrant families and the mass criminalization of all communities of color by visiting Colorlines and Mass Freedom.