End Economic Exclusion of People with Criminal Records and Immigrants

Policy Goals: End the Criminalization of People of Color

“Once a person has served their time, they should not be made to continue paying for their past mistakes.”

Desmond Meade, President of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition

Federal, state and local governments have aggressively excluded people with criminal records and immigrants from receiving basic social and human services. For example, in many jurisdictions, people who have been convicted of drug-related crimes are effectively banned from receiving federally subsidized housing. Furthermore, students who receive a Pell Grant to cover higher education costs can have their grant suspended if convicted of a drug-related crime. For undocumented workers, despite paying federal and state taxes, only immigrants with Social Security numbers can claim the Earned Income Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit. Even when eligible for government service, fear of deportation can dissuade them from applying. The fear of being declared a “Public Charge” is a real deterrent for immigrants seeking documented legal status, as it could negatively affect their prospects. The exclusion of undocumented immigrants and people with criminal records from basic social and human services must end! Help us identify the right policies that will put us on that path. Here are some ideas we have identified so far:

Policies Under Consideration:

● End the prohibition of federally funded social or human services to undocumented immigrants and people with criminal records.
● Repeal the “Public Charge” policy.

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