Millions of Immigrants Families May Be Negatively Affected by the Trump Administration’s Immigration Policies
According to lawyer Doug Zanes, it’s no secret that these are challenging times for immigrant families. With its “zero-tolerance policy,” The Trump administration has made clear its intention to prosecute people who enter the country unlawfully. It is also creating policies likely to negatively affect the health and wellbeing of lawful permanent U.S. residents and their U.S.-born children.
According to the Henry Kaiser Family Foundation(KFF), the administration is considering policy changes that would reduce immigrant families’ use of federal programs. Under the proposal, if the government determines certain people to be a “public charge,” they can be denied lawful permanent residence, entry into the U.S., or in very limited cases, deported. The proposed policy allows government officials to consider previously excluded health, nutrition, and other non-cash programs as they make public charge determinations.
If these changes go into effect, lawfully-residing immigrant families and their U.S. citizen children would be less likely to participate in Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and other programs for fear of jeopardizing their immigration status. In fact, there are signs that this is already happening.
Medicaid and CHIP provide families with critical access to preventive and primary care as well as care for chronic conditions and protects families from high medical costs. But KPP reports that decreased participation “would increase the uninsured rate among immigrant families, negatively affecting the financial stability of families and the growth and healthy development of their children.”
Millions of children would be affected by this policy. In 2016, nearly 20 million children in the U.S.had at least one immigrant parent. About 17.7 million of these children were U.S. citizens. More than 8 million of these citizen children had Medicaid/CHIP coverage.
As KPP points out, if these families lose health coverage, it would widen disparities in coverage citizen children in immigrant families compared to those with U.S.-born parents. Moreover, such coverage loss could have a lifetime impact on the health of these children.
If you or a loved one needs legal help in assessing your immigration status and whether these new policies could affect you, theexperienced immigration attorneys at Zanes Law would be delighted to help. Please contactus or call us at 844-666-8181for a private consultation today.