Detroit Free Press Column: What I Learned About 5 Detained Iraqi Americans from Michigan

Sep 27, 2017

On Sunday, the Detroit Free Press published Rep. Levin’s column detailing the stories of five Iraqi Americans from our community who have been detained by ICE and slated for deportation. These individuals committed non-violent offenses, and many of them have already served time in jail. All of the five individuals Rep. Levin spoke with were working when they were arrested by ICE, and they have families – including children.  Because the individuals cannot share their stories from where they are being kept in detention, in Youngstown, OH, Rep. Levin shared their stories in an op-ed. You can read the full column here.

Rep. Levin Gives Talk on Nafta
On Monday, Rep. Levin delivered a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations on the importance of seeing major changes in Mexico’s labor policies as part of any renegotiation of NAFTA.  The speech was followed by a question and answer session with a moderator and members of the audience. Rep. Levin highlighted that increasing the wages of workers in Mexico by providing real labor rights will help protect wages and jobs in Michigan. You can read the full text of Rep. Levin’ remarks and find a link to a video here.

Rep. Levin Calls on Tax Reform to Help the Middle Class, Not the Wealthy
In response to a “framework” for tax reform put forward by Republicans in Washington, Rep Levin released a statement highlighting how much the GOP plan would benefit the wealthiest Americans while raising our nation’s debt.  He called for tax changes that benefit the middle class, rather cutting the top income tax rate, repealing the estate tax and other proposals in the Republican outline that only help the wealthy. See his entire statement here.

New Medicare Cards Coming in 2018
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is removing Social Security numbers from Medicare cards to help prevent fraud and help fight identity theft. New cards should be arriving between April 2018 and April 2019.  Social Security numbers will be replaced with a Medicare Beneficiary Identifier, which will consist of 11 numbers or uppercase letters.

Seniors do not have to do anything to get a new card and if you receive a call regarding this change and are unsure of its legitimacy, feel free to contact Medicare’s customer service line at 800-633-4227 or Social Security’s customer service line at 800-772-1213. To get more information about the new change to Medicare cards, you can read this Detroit Free Press article.

This Week on the House Floor:
This week the House considers a legislation that reauthorizes a successful home visiting program (H.R. 2824) connecting pregnant women and families with young children to nurses, social workers, and other professionals.  However, the bill ignores proven successes and makes ill-advised and partisan changes to the program.  To pay for the program, the House will also consider legislation (H.R. 2792) that would cut Supplemental Security Income benefits to people with disabilities, seniors, and other beneficiaries with outstanding arrest warrants, even though these are cases that are inactive or ones that law enforcement is not pursuing.  Current law already prohibits payments to those avoiding justice and the bill does nothing to help law enforcement secure arrests.