Friday 9/10: VISION Act and LIFT THE BAR Act.

Action #1: State Action – CALL your state senator to pass the VISION Act. (LAST DAY!)

The trauma of familial separations is not just happening in war zones. It’s happening right here under the cloak of “ICE transfers”, and we can stop it.

Human Rights Watch wrote a great letter in favor of this legislation here.

We are here in the process through the labyrinth of the CA legislature….

The VISION Act (AB 937) has survived the gauntlet of the Appropriations Committee and is now heading back to the Senate floor for a final vote. Make sure your state senator knows you support this important bill that promotes human dignity, equal justice, and reunification of immigrant families to the Governor’s desk! (Read more about this bill here.)

Minimal script:   I’m calling from [zip code] to urge Sen. [___] to support the VISION Act (AB 937). This would stop ICE transfers of immigrant community members who have already served their time in local jails or state prisons. California must end double punishment and stop assisting ICE who routinely targets, detains, and deports Black, Latinx, & AAPI immigrants. I urge the Senator to vote yes on the bill, and keep our immigrant families and communities whole.


  • State Senator Monique Limón (SD-19): email, SAC (916) 651-4019, SB (805) 965-0862, OX (805)988-1940 
  • EMERGENCY – CALL THIS GUY! State Senator Henry Stern (SD-27): email, SAC (916) 651-2027, Calabasas (818) 876-3352
  • Not your people? Who is my state senator?:

Action #2: Call your representative to pass the “Lift the Bar Act” to remove 25 years of institutionalized racism against our immigrant families.

For 25 years, immigrants with permanent residency cards, (“green cards”) and other lawful immigration statuses have been denied access to federal health care, nutrition, housing, and other programs for their first five years in the United States, despite paying federal taxes during that period. That’s because ​in 1996, Congress passed a racist and restrictive welfare and immigration legislation that created unnecessary barriers, including an arbitrary five-year waiting-period—often referred to as “the five-year bar.”

Today, Sept. 10th, Reps. Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) and Tony Cárdenas (CA-29) have introducied legislation to to fix this injustice by removing cruel, xenophobic, and harmful barriers to federal public benefits for immigrants with the LIFT the BAR Act. (Informational resources here.)

The LIFT the BAR Act would accomplish this by:

  • Restoring access to federal public benefits for lawfully present immigrants, including people with Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status, DACA recipients, individuals granted SIJS, and other federally authorized non-citizens residing in the United States.
  • Eliminating the five-year bar for Medicaid, CHIP, SNAP, TANF, and the SSI program.
  • Removing arbitrary barriers by ensuring that immigrants with sponsors have access to services based on the income and resources that are actually available to them, removing state authority to impose additional restrictions on qualified immigrants, and restoring flexibility for states and localities to provide benefits to immigrants with their own funds.

Minimal script: I’m calling from [zip code] to urge Rep. [___] to become an original cosponsor and support the Lift the Bar Act. This legislation restores access to public programs like Medicaid, CHIP, and SNAP, by removing the five-year bar and other barriers that deny critical care and aid to people who are not only lawfully present residents and taxpayers, but who’ve also been serving on our COVID front lines as essential workers.

Minimal email script: AFTER making a live call, follow up with an email. PIF’s Take Action has a good start. Use it or mix it up with your own voice.


(Brownley and Carbajal are NOT yet cosponsors!) Current cosponsors U.S. Representatives Adams (NC), Auchincloss, Barragán, Bonamici, Bowman, Carson, Castor, Chu, Clarke, Connolly, Cooper, Dean, Escobar, Espaillat, Frankel, Gallego, García , Grijalva, Jacobs, Johnson, Jr. , Jones, Kahele, Kirkpatrick, Lee, Lieu, Maloney, McGovern, Meng, Moore, Nadler, Napolitano, Newman, Norton, Pocan, Pressley, Royball-Allard, Sánchez, Scanlon, Schakowsky, Smith, Soto, Titus, Tlaib, Torres (CA), Torres (NY), Trone, Wasserman Schultz, and Watson Coleman. 

  • Rep. Julia Brownley (CA-26): email, DC (202) 225-5811, Oxnard (805) 379-1779, T.O. (805) 379-1779
  • or Rep. Salud Carbajal (CA-24): email. DC (202) 225-3601, SB (805) 730-1710 SLO (805) 546-8348
  • Who is my representative?:

More information

Congressional Resources:


As an immigrant who came to this country alone at the age of 16, I am proud to introduce legislation that finally eliminates senseless, harmful, and xenophobic barriers to health care, nutrition assistance, and other life-changing public benefits for immigrant families,” said Congresswoman Jayapal. As COVID-19 disproportionately impacts immigrants who are heroically serving on the frontlines of this crisis, the LIFT the BAR Act is an urgent, necessary, and just step towards ensuring they have access to the care, relief, and support they need and deserve — during a pandemic and beyond.

Those of us who come from immigrant families, like me, know and understand that the temporary use of public benefits is a roadmap to the American Dream,” said Congressman Cárdenas. Families working towards a better life should not have to wait five years, sometimes in deep poverty, just to access the resources they need to thrive. Our legislation will eliminate the unnecessary waiting period for lifesaving services and ensure our immigrant communities have the financial stability for a better future.

This legislation is proudly endorsed by dozens of local, state, and national organizations including 

  • ACA Consumer Advocacy,
  • African Communities Together,
  • Alianza Nacional de Campesinas,
  • Alliance for Immigrant Survivors,
  • American Academy of Pediatrics,
  • Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence,
  • Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF),
  • Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO),
  • Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs, Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America,
  • Bread for the World, Center for Constitutional Rights, Center for Law and Social Policy, Center for Survivor Agency & Justice, Children’s Defense Fund,
  • Children’s HealthWatch,
  • Coalition on Human Needs,
  • CommunicationFIRST,
  • Community Catalyst,
  • Comunidad Maya Pixan Ixim,
  • Educare Learning Network,
  • Esperanza United (formerly Casa de Esperanza: National Latin@ Network),
  • Families USA,
  • Family Voices,
  • First Focus Campaign for Children,
  • Futures Without Violence,
  • Guttmacher Institute,
  • Hispanic Federation,
  • HIV Medicine Association,
  • Justice in Aging,
  • Khmer Health Advocates,
  • Kids in Need of Defense (KIND),
  • LatinoJustice PRLDEF,
  • MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger,
  • National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF),
  • National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners,
  • National Coalition for Latinxs with Disabilities (CNLD),
  • National Council of Jewish Women,
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline,
  • National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association,
  • National Hispanic Medical Association,
  • National Homelessness Law Center,
  • National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice,
  • National Network for Arab American Communities (NNAAC),
  • National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA),
  • National WIC Association, NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice,
  • Network of Jewish Human Service Agencies,
  • Planned Parenthood Federation of America,
  • Poligon Education Fund, Prevention Institute,
  • Shriver Center on Poverty Law,
  • The Workers Circle, UnidosUS,
  • Union for Reform Judaism,
  • World Institute on Disability.

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