Action Alerts

Tell Congress to Support Aid for Children Fleeing Violence

THIS Wednesday, July 30, the Senate is expected to vote on S. 2648, legislation to provide $2.7 billion in emergency funding to aid with the humanitarian crisis happening along our borders. S. 2648, introduced by Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), would provide $1.2 billion to the Department of Health and Human Services, the agency charged with caring for migrant children. The remaining $1.5 billion would go to the Departments of Homeland Security, State, and Justice to support border security, bring in additional judges and counsel to process asylum requests more quickly, and deal with the migrants’ home countries to address the underlying problems causing the children to flee.

There may be attempts to add language to this bill that would weaken protections for child migrants from non-contiguous countries. If this language passes, these children could be turned away immediately without an asylum hearing. We oppose these efforts. We also believe that Congress should not cut other programs to respond to these children’s urgent needs.  The influx of children fleeing from violence and coercion meets the legal definition of emergency, which under federal law does not require offsetting cuts.

The House may also take up a bill this week, but it is expected to be far less – about $1 billion.  The House bill is expected to increase border enforcement funds, but to do nothing to help the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to cope with housing, services, and protections for the children.  The House is also likely to include policy restrictions that will mean speedier deportations without properly assessing children’s request for safe haven, and perhaps to require that other services are cut in order to pay for these emergency needs.

We need your help to urge Senators to vote for the funding on Wednesday, and for your Representative to vote for funding that comes as close as possible to the Senate figure, without restrictions and without requiring other cuts. Congressional action on this may not be finalized until September, but Congress shouldn’t go home for August recess while thousands of children wait for their help.

Email your  Representative and  Senators – tell them they must address this emergency and help these children NOW.

Twitter Storm Tuesday: #RenewUI

Every Tuesday, we will be featuring representatives for you to target on twitter to push the House to #RenewUI.  Please join us in tweeting and urging these representatives to renew unemployment insurance.

This Tuesday, July 29 at 2pm ET, we are targeting Representative Buck McKeon (CA) –@BuckMcKeon and Representative Gary Miller (CA) – @RepGaryMiller.

Sample Tweets:

CA has the 4th highest #unemployment in the nation. @RepGaryMiller it’s time to help your constituents and #RenewUI

CA has the 4th highest #unemployment in the nation. @BuckMcKeon it’s time to help your constituents and #RenewUI

More than 514,300 Californians could be helped @BuckMcKeon if you act to #RenewUI What are you waiting for?

More than 514,300 Californians could be helped @RepGaryMiller if you act to #RenewUI What are you waiting for?

Over 3.5 mil Americans (and growing) have been denied #EUC. Isn’t it about time we #RenewUI? @RepGaryMiller

If we fail to #RenewUI it will cost the US econ 240,000 jobs this year. It’s time to take action @BuckMcKeon

Over 1/3 of 9.8 mil who are unemployed have been looking for work for 6+ mos #RenewUI @BuckMcKeon

#EUC helps pay rent, keep lights on & pay for phone so a worker can continue to search for a job.  #RenewUI @RepGaryMiller

Or create your own tweet, but please use the hashtag #RenewUI so we can track your actions!


Tell Congress It’s Time to Renew Unemployment Insurance

3 Million jobless people and their families are still without Unemployment Insurance because Congress has failed to act.

The Senate passed a bill that would have extended unemployment insurance for the long-term unemployed through May. But, the House refused to bring the bill to a vote.  The House leadership has chosen to take action on tax breaks for corporations while rejecting help for the jobless.  That’s wrong.  The House and Senate must both take action to restore Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC).  They should make it retroactive to make up the benefits lost since the program was allowed to expire in December.

Email your Rep and Senators – tell them they must extend Emergency Unemployment Compensation NOW.



Submit Your Story to the Our American Story Project

Have a story about the way services have helped you and your family? We want to hear from you!

Half in Ten and the Coalition on Human Needs are collecting stories highlighting the ways that federal programs successfully build economic security and meet the needs of vulnerable populations. Submit your human needs program success story to the Our American Story project today.

We welcome short video clips or written stories from anyone who can speak to the benefit and success of federal programs such as direct beneficiaries, social service providers, and community, faith or business leaders. For more instructions and guidelines on submitting your story click, check back soon. A sample video is available here.


If you would like to post an action, please contact Joanna Sandager at