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Public Benefits: References

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The following is a list of references to equip immigrant advocates, service providers and immigrants with important information about public benefits. If you have a relevant reference you want to share, please send us the information.

Title Author/Date Description

New Requirements for Citizenship Documentation in Medicaid

The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation


Describes what is needed to document U.S. citizenship when applying for or renewing Medicaid coverage.

For the Benefit of All: Ensuring Immigrant Health and Well-Being

Grantmakers in Health


This summary of a forum on immigrant health issues includes, among other things, some highlighting of activities to improve health care access and coverage for immigrants and their families.

Food Stamp Access for Immigrants: How States Have Implemented the 2002 Farm Bill Restoration

Katherine Gigliotti and Bill Emerson
National Conference of State Legislatures


The report describes the various approaches to restoring eligibility and highlights promising practices in language access and conducting outreach to immigrant and non-English speaking communities.

Implications of SSA No-Match Letters on Enforcement and Workers' Rights

University of Chicago Center for Urban Economic Development


Assesses the wide ranging impact of SSA's no-match letter on local labor market and immigration enforcement efforts.

Health Insurance Coverage of Children in Mixed-Status Immigrant Families

The Urban Institute


This study highlights one area where solid gains have been made: health insurance coverage for citizen children with at least one immigrant parent.

Noncitizens' Use of Public Benefits has Declined Since 1996: Recent Report Paints Misleading Picture of Impact of Eligibility Restrictions on Immigrant Families

The Center on Budget and Policy Analysis


Reports that there is substantial program data and research evidence showing that legal noncitizens’ participation in these programs has declined significantly since the enactment of the 1996 welfare law.

Immigrants, Persons With Limited Proficiency in English, And The TANF Program: What Do We Know?

Shawn Fremstad
Center on Budget and Policy Analysis


Reviews and discusses research on LEP and the TANF program.

Immigrants and Welfare Use

Migration Policy Institute


Overview of immigrant participation and eligibility for public benefits, geographic distribution of benefits, impact of welfare reform on immigrant families, and characteristics of immigrant welfare recipients.

Immigrant Families Welfare Reform Restricts Programs That Support Working Families (PDF)

W.K. Kellogg Foundation


Paper argues that a central paradox of the 1996 welfare law is that although its goal was to provide incentives and support to help people move into the workforce, it has had the oposite effect on working immigrant families.

The INS Public Charge Guidance: What Does it Mean For Immigrants Who Need Public Assistance?

Shawn Fremstad
Center on Budget and Policy Analysis


Recent research suggests that public charge concerns, along with other "chilling effects" related to welfare reform and confusion about eligibility rules for benefits, have kept many legal immigrants from accessing benefits for which they are eligible.

All Under One Roof: Mixed-Status Families in an Era of Reform

Michael E. Fix, Wendy Zimmermann
Urban Institute


Explores how curbs on noncitizens' use of public benefits may have had the unintended effects of "chilling" citizen children's use of benefits.

State Snapshots of Public Benefits for Immigrants

Karen C. Tumlin, Wendy Zimmermann, Jason Ost
Urban Institute


This supplement provides a one-page summary of each state's immigrant eligibility rules for cash, food, and health assistance programs.

Many States Continue Some Federal or State Benefits for Immigrants (PDF)

General Accounting Office (GAO)


Discusses state policies regarding assistance to immigrants following the change to TANF in 1996.

Crossroads Campaign Solutions