September 10, 2021
Noor Hindi (She/Her/Hers)| Communications Specialist |
ACCESS | 2651 Saulino Ct., Dearborn MI 48120 |
Washington, D.C. – In 1996, Congress passed restrictive welfare and immigration legislation that creates undue hardship for immigrants attempting to establish stability in the United States. Through passage of the LIFT the BAR Act, Congress has a critical and timely opportunity to remove these restrictions. These limitations currently impact thousands of immigrants, including green card holders, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, crime victims, COFA migrants, child maltreatment victims and orphans who hold Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SUS), as well as other noncitizens residing lawfully in the U.S.
Currently, there is an undue five-year waiting period for crucial federal public benefits that would dramatically improve the lives of immigrants in the U.S. These include Medicaid, CHIP, SNAP, TANF, SSI and housing assistance. The LIFT the BAR Act would remove this waiting period as well as the unnecessary hardship it creates.
NNAAC supports the introduction of the LIFT the BAR Act by Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal and welcomes its hopeful passage through Senate.
Statement of Adam Beddawi, the D.C. Policy Manager of NNAAC, in response to introduction of the LIFT the BAR Act:
“In the LIFT the BAR Act, Congress has put forth an important and timely proposal to redress undue limitations in our public welfare system. The Arab American and broader Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) community are among the many community groups for whom this bill holds significant promise and potential. As things currently stand, members of the MENA community contribute to our country’s economic base, raise the living standards of communities in which we reside, and are personally industrious. However, decades-old policies of fiscal austerity impose unnecessary limits on the development of our community – and with them, on the growth potential of our country in general.
Through passage of the LIFT the BAR Act, we have the chance to develop a public welfare system worthy of its name. NNAAC thanks Rep. Pramila Jayapal for her initiative in introducing this piece of legislation, which hews close to our core values as a nation.”
The National Network for Arab American Communities (NNAAC), a project of ACCESS, is a national consortium of independent Arab American community-based organizations. Established in 2004 as a project of the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS), NNAAC currently has 27 members in 11 different states. Our mission is the development of Arab American community-based nonprofit organizations that understand, meet the needs, and represent the concerns of Arab Americans at a local level, while also collectively addressing those issues at a national level. Our vision is to foster economic, cultural, social and political empowerment of Arab Americans. We are committed to working collaboratively to support the development of strong and effective Arab American community-based organizations that mobilize locally and nationally to empower the Arab American community.