Many immigrant families do not enroll in safety net programs due to fear that they may face immigration consequences.
Trump-era expansions of the public charge rule required the consideration of noncash public benefit use in green card or visa applications. While these regulations have since been reversed, fear of consequences for enrolling in safety net programs remain for immigrant families.
Approximately 13 percent of adults in immigrant families reported a member of their household did not apply for noncash government benefits in 2022 due to green card concerns.
Approximately 25 percent of adults in mixed-status families did not use public benefits due to concerns about jeopardizing their green card.
Thirteen percent of adults in green card and citizen families and 7 percent of adults in all-citizen families also reported avoiding noncash government benefits due to green card concerns.
Immigrant families often face higher levels of health-related hardship, including immigration-related fears surrounding safety net access. Reducing safety net program avoidance for immigrant families is essential to ensure health and economic wellbeing.
About the Author/Grantee
The nonprofit Urban Institute is dedicated to elevating the debate on social and economic policy. For nearly five decades, Urban scholars have conducted research and offered evidence-based solutions that improve lives and strengthen communities across a rapidly urbanizing world. Their objective research helps expand opportunities for all, reduce hardship among the most vulnerable, and strengthen the effectiveness of the public sector. Visit the Urban Institute’s Health Policy Center for more information specific to its staff and its recent research.
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