Legal Momentum teamed with the Institute for Policy Studies, the Center for Community Change and Jobs with Justice to produce the first comprehensive study on how the safety net is serving Americans amidst the economic crisis. The study, titled Battered by the Storm: How the Safety Net is Failing Americans and How to Fix It, concludes that the economic crisis is still on the rise for millions of Americans, while at the same time the social safety net is failing to support many of them. The report proposes an emergency relief plan to create and save jobs for millions of Americans while also offering adequate resources to vital safety net programs.
Legal Momentum President Irasema Garza discusses the report in her Huffington Post article, A Depression for the Most Vulnerable.
Peter Edelman and Barbara Ehrenreich's piece in The Washington Post, Why Welfare Reform Has Failed, details the need for a massive emergency relief package not only to fund new jobs but also to repair the holes in the national safety net.
New data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that reveals TANF caseloads have declined in 22 states over the first 16 months of the recession, just when they are supposed to be helping more families. The data is analyzed and explored in Legal Momentum's report, New Data Reveals TANF Caseload Declines in Twenty Two States over the First Sixteen Months of the Recession.
In December President Obama unveiled a plan to improve the job landscape for unemployed Americans. The proposal included many positive ideas for improving the economy, but did not include provisions for creating and improving jobs specifically for the majority of poor Americans: women. In order to decrease the number of women living in poverty it is crucial for the government to create policies aimed at providing women with the higher paying jobs usually held by men. Learn more about President Obama's Job Summit.
Learn more about President Obama's speech and non-traditional jobs for women from Legal Momentum Briefing Room.
With both houses of Congress passing health care reform, the legislation now moves to a conference committee where members will work to combine the Senate and House bills into one. A point of contention is sure to be the abortion provisions the bill the House of Representatives passed includes a provision which prohibits insurers that benefit from federal subsidies from offering policies that cover abortions, while the Senate version allows any state to bar the use of federal subsidies for insurance plans that cover abortion and requires insurers in other states to divide subsidy money into separate accounts so that only dollars from private premiums would be used to pay for abortions.
Currently more than18.9 million immigrant women reside in the U.S. More than half participate in the labor force, but their experience as workers is disproportionately marred by violence and exploitation, making comprehensive immigration reform vital to improving the safety and security of these women and their families. This month Representative Luis Gutierrez introduced the Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America's Security and Prosperity Act of 2009 (CIR ASAP), which includes a provision for legalizing undocumented immigrants. It is critical that this legislation takes into account immigrant women's experiences and promotes solutions to overcome the obstacles to economic access and justice confronting immigrant women and families.
Learn more about Legal Momentum's position on immigration reform.
Read Irasema Garza's The Invisible Face of Immigration on The Huffington Post.
Since the CDC began requiring female immigrants who wished to enter the US to be vaccinated for human papillomavirus (HPV) in 2008, health, immigration and women's advocacy groups have argued that the policy infringed upon personal health decisions that should be decided upon by each individual. Additionally, immigrants entering the US were forced to pay for the vaccine, which was not covered by insurance, and can cost up to $1,000. While Legal Momentum strongly supports the use of vaccines to prevent against serious diseases and viruses such as HPV, we believe the decision to receive a vaccine is a personal decision that should not be forced, and stand against required medical procedures that violate privacy and autonomy over one's body. Thus, Legal Momentum commends the CDC's step towards protecting the rights of thousands of immigrant women by reversing its HPV vaccination requirement.