What is the Forum for Government Accountability? Farm Bill Debate in Congress Exposed FGA Role


Thank goodness the Farm Bill failed in the U.S. House of Representatives last week. The House’s despicable bill to punish the poor fell victim to division and rancor among House Republicans—division mostly about another fraught issue: immigration.

The Farm Bill includes food stamps—SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program—and the bill that failed would have punished poor families by imposing strict and punitive work requirements for the adults who qualify for SNAP—including millions of  parents with children.  The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities tells us: “In 2016, some 19 million children received SNAP each month, accounting for 44 percent of all SNAP participants.”

SNAP matters not only for individuals but also for public schools for two primary reasons. Twenty years after welfare reform utterly failed to end poverty, SNAP is among our society’s few remaining anti-poverty programs, and we know that school achievement and children’s life chances are closely…

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Proposed Trump Immigration Policy would further punish immigrant families, especially children

Grand Rapids Institute for Information Democracy

The US government’s war on immigrants just added a new component. The Trump administration will soon be issuing a new regulation that would:

“jeopardize the status of millions of immigrants who use—or whose children use—health, housing, nutrition, and other key services and supports. It would do this by radically altering the way in which federal officials evaluate whether certain immigrants are—or are likely to become—a “public charge.”  

The concept of “public charge” first appeared in U.S. immigration law in the Immigration Act of 1882, which prohibited any immigrant “unable to take care of himself or herself without becoming a public charge” from being admitted to the United States. Since 1903, the Immigration and Nationality Act has included public-charge considerations in two contexts: (1) whether immigrants seeking entry to the United States or seeking legal permanent residency are at risk of becoming a public charge and thus deemed inadmissible and (2)…

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