Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provides health care for 9 million children and 375,000 pregnant women in working families who make too much money to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough for private insurance. Working families like Bob Cratchit’s family.
You remember Bob Cratchit. He worked for old Ebenezer Scrooge, and he didn’t make much money. Not enough money to pay for medical care for his crippled son, Tiny Tim. Continue reading
Photo courtesy of MN State Judicial Branch “Find a mentor – find someone you like and ask them to be your mentor.” – Anne McKeig
Growing up in Federal Dam, population 108, Anne McKeig never met a lawyer. She and her brothers spent most of their time outdoors: roaming the family’s 40 acres, building forts, tending three big gardens, hunting and fishing. At age 13, she started working, first washing dishes in a supper club and later waitressing. Continue reading
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When two elephants fight, the grass gets trampled, says a Swahili proverb, which puts me in mind of the RNC and DNC domination of July news. Despite the elephants, other news is happening to people who, like grass under elephants’ feet, seem barely noticed. If you, like me, feel closer to the grass underfoot than to the elephants in Cleveland and Philadelphia, here’s a quick round-up of some important news items you may have missed. Continue reading
As I dug out weeds in the garden this morning, my thoughts turned to the just-ending legislative session. A bold, bright-eyed robin supervises as I dig out thistles and quack grass, pull creeping Charlie, and leave the milkweed for the butterflies.
Weeding is not my favorite part of gardening, but it’s essential. If I don’t keep at it, the thistles and quack grass will take over and choke out everything else. Still, pulling weeds is pointless, unless you also plant. Continue reading
2012: Fatuma Sankos arrived in Dadaab two months ago with her two small sons – Abass Hassan and Mohamed Hassan. She lives in a tiny shelter made from sticks, cardboard and plastic bags. She has not yet been formally registered in the camp so is not able to get food rations and depends on other refugees for food, and aid agencies for water. Photo: Jo Harrison/Oxfam, published under Creative Commons license
Kenya announced last week that it will close all of its refugee camps, forcing more than 600,000 refugees to return to the violence they fled in their home countries of Somalia, Sudan, Ethiopia and other nearby countries. That’s terrible, but the United States is in no position to criticize Kenya. In secret memos uncovered last week, the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) ordered a 30-day “surge” of arrests of immigrant mothers and children to return them to the violence they fled in their home countries of El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. Continue reading
Six years ago Congress did something right. They said that high-poverty schools could skip the individual child-by-child means testing and just feed all the kids free breakfast and lunch. That saved hundreds of thousands of dollars previously spent on processing eligibility forms, as well as thousands of hours of teacher and parent time. More importantly, when everybody can eat for free, nobody has to feel singled out as “that poor kid getting a free lunch.” Free, in-school breakfasts increase the number of kids starting the day ready to learn. Now that the program is succeeding, Republicans in Congress want to roll it back.
Texas, leading the nation as always, granted a child care license to a jail on April 29. It’s a special, private jail, an immigration detention center in Karnes City run by the private, for-profit GEO Group. The Texas license comes in response to a federal judge’s order that migrant children must be released from detention centers because it’s against the law to hold kids in unlicensed facilities. (A few days after the license was issues, a Texas judge blocked, at least temporarily, a second license for another immigration jail and set a hearing on the licenses for May 13.) Continue reading
David Wilson and Jane Guskin explain what’s wrong with the mainstream immigration debate, including the Sanders/Clinton pseudo-discussion in their March 9 debate:
“The media and the politicians treat the migration either as a natural disaster (‘flooding over the border’) or as a second-rate science fiction movie (‘the aliens are invading’) — with either scenario seen as deserving an aggressive response.
“But in the real world, the asylum seekers and other migrants that some call ‘illegals’ are human beings pushed from their homes by economic dislocation or fear of violence, often risking their lives for a chance at a brighter future. And U.S. foreign and economic policies are intimately linked to these ‘push factors.'”
French authorities cleared a Calais refugee camp called “the jungle” this week — and the refugees displaced from the squalid camp scattered to set up even less secure camps nearby. But what did the French government expect? The refugees in Calais have nowhere to go, and burning down their tents and shacks does not magically create alternatives, but rather increases their misery. Continue reading
“Jessica is a young mom, who lived in foster care most of her teen years. She has two young children, both in diapers and is separated from the father of her children because of his drug and alcohol use. He recently went through treatment. Jessica was on maternity leave when she separated from him, and lost her job when she found herself the sole caregiver for the two young children.”
For now, Jessica relies on MFIP and SNAP — more commonly known as welfare and food stamps. Each month, she and her children get $532 in MFIP benefits and $473 in SNAP benefits, which can be used only for food. Continue reading