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Immigration Youth Detention

Shoes and a teddy bear, brought by a group of U.S. mayors, are piled up outside a holding facility for immigrant children June 21 in Tornillo, Texas, near the Mexican border. Records obtained by The Associated Press highlight some of the problems that plague government facilities for immigrant youth.

The Department of Homeland Security recently proposed a rule change that will punish immigrant families seeking work-support programs, forcing millions to choose between meeting their basic needs and becoming U.S. residents.

The proposal would limit immigrants’ ability to become lawful permanent residents if they have used work-support programs — the same programs that millions of American families utilize to keep themselves and their children healthy and fed.

This change would be fundamentally harmful not just to families, but to entire communities who would benefit from the contributions of hard-working lawful residents moving into jobs and out of poverty. Denying permanent resident status to someone simply because they have sought help in obtaining food or medical treatment is inhumane and marks a radical departure from our country’s history of welcoming immigrants.

The DHS is accepting public comments on the proposal until Dec. 6. Please submit a comment opposing this damaging and needless rule change at www.ouramericanstory.us.

James Brunton, Lincoln

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