Joint letter on importance of services for undocumented survivors

Choya Adkison-Stevens, OCADSV Equity and Inclusion Coordinator

On August 5th, a joint letter was issued by three United States Departments (Justice, Health and Human Services, and Housing and Urban Development) reminding all recipients of federal financial assistance that they “should not withhold certain services based on immigration status when the services are necessary to protect life and safety.” This guidance, reiterating existing policy, comes at a time of increasing anti-immigrant sentiment across the United States (see OCADSV’s Oregon-specific letter “Safety and Inclusion for All,” dated July 12th). We are heartened to see a firm and welcoming message communicating that all people, including those without documentation, have the right to services that promote life and safety, such as “emergency shelter, short-term housing assistance including transitional housing, crisis counseling, and intervention programs.” We recommend DV/SA programs and partner organizations familiarize themselves with this federal guidance, and we welcome your questions or concerns regarding safe and affirming services.

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