August 12, 2016
Below is an important letter released jointly by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) that reminds recipients of federal funds how the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) of 1996 applies to their programs.
This letter reiterates long standing federal policies that immigrants cannot be denied access to certain services necessary to protect life and safety based on their immigration status.
This letter reiterates that immigrants experiencing homelessness, victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, stalking or human trafficking may not be turned away on the basis of immigration status from life and safety services including but not limited to emergency shelters, and short-term housing assistance (including transitional housing and rapid re-housing), crisis counseling and intervention, soup kitchens, community food banks, emergency Medicaid and public health services.
Importantly, this Tri-Agency letter describes the anti-discrimination requirements that apply to all federal grantees and the application of these protections to cases involving immigrants.
Below you will find the Tri-Agency letter as well as federal agency letters (e.g. OVW, OVW, HUD) to their grantees.
Please do not hesitate to contact NIWAP with any technical assistance questions. (202) 274-4457 and firstname.lastname@example.org
Blog post from OVW: https://www.justice.gov/ovw/ovw-blog
HUD Cover Letter OVW Cover Letter to GranteesHUD Cover Letter to Grantees
For easy access to each of the documents cited in the Tri Agency Letter we have included the links below:
U.S. Departments of HHS and Agriculture Policy Guidance Regarding Inquiries into Citizenship, Immigration Status and Social Security Numbers in State Applications for Medicaid, State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and Food Stamp Benefits (January 21, 2003)
See also the NIWAP publications
- Anti-Discrimination and Underserved Population Protections for Immigrant Victims (February 10, 2017)
- Emergency Shelter and Transitional Housing for Immigrant Victims: Government Policies (February 10, 2017)
This was developed under grant SJI-12-E-169 from State Justice Institute. The points of view expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of State Justice Institute.
National Immigrant Women’s Advocacy Project (NIWAP, pronounced new-app)
American University, Washington College of Law
4801 Massachusetts Avenue NW · Washington, D.C. 20016
(o) 202.274.4457 · (f) 202.274.4226 · email@example.com · wcl.american.edu/niwap