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Issue Alert - 03-10-07

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Oct 01, 2003

Issue Summary:

FIA has issued another strong statement to local offices that they cannot require social security or immigration documents for people not applying for assistance.

Persons Affected:

Immigrants applying for all programs except Child Day Care (CDC) (* see below)


All programs except CDC. PEM 225

What's Happening?

FIA has issued another clarification of the policy to local offices. The strongly worded policy is located in PPB 2003-007 pages 2–3. No changes were made to PEM 225 itself.

What Should Advocates Do?

Inform organizations who work with immigrants about the policy. Advocates having problems with FIA should refer to PEM 225. As noted above, the new (and strongly worded) clarification is only in the PPB. Advocates can find a copy of the policy statement on the FIA website: advocates are hearing about improper questions or actions by local FIA workers, they should refer to their local legal services office. The Michigan Migrant Legal Assistance Program, Farmworker Legal Services, and the Center for Civil Justice have all monitoring the implementation of the new policy. Migrant farmworker advocates and their documented clients who need more information or help are encouraged to contact Farmworker Legal Services at 1-800-968-4046. Undocumented migrant workers or their advocates may contact the Michigan Migrant Legal Assistance program in Grand Rapids, Michigan at 616-454-4055

Finding Help

Most legal aid and legal services office handle these type of cases, and they do not charge a fee. You can locate the "free" legal services or legal aid office that serves your county on the Michigan LawHelp website ( or look in the yellow pages under "attorneys" or call the toll-free lawyer referral number, (800) 968-0738.