New research from Hamutal Bernstein at the Urban Institute reports that low-income immigrant families were hit hard by the economic crisis in 2020, and have experienced significant hardships including not having enough food to feed their families, not seeking needed medical care because of costs, and difficulties paying for housing and utilities. But despite these hardships, 1 out of 4 adults in low-income immigrant families avoided government benefit programs or other assistance because of immigration concerns. The report highlights several policy and practice implications, including the need for clear communication and engagement on the recent reversal of changes to the public charge rule, the importance of addressing longstanding barriers faced by immigrant families with eligible family members such as language access, potential for and examples of expanding immigrant eligibility for programs, and the role of the immigration system to facilitate the path to citizenship. At the same time, it is important to address existing barriers to accessing benefits, including the so-called 5-year bar.
You are invited to a briefing on the report’s finding and its implications. You will also have the opportunity to hear more about the barriers to care faced by immigrants and their families – and what that means for the health and wellbeing of communities across the country.