Immigrant Families Continued Avoiding the Safety Net during the COVID-19 Crisis
In its first days in office, the Biden administration has already moved to reverse many of the Trump administration’s immigration policies that created a climate of fear and insecurity for many immigrant families. The prior administration’s changes to the “public charge” rule intensified immigrant families’ reluctance to participate in public benefit programs and supports that address basic health, nutrition, and housing needs. In this fact sheet, we use newly available data from the Urban Institute’s December 2020 Well-Being and Basic Needs Survey to estimate chilling effects on public program participation because of green card concerns and because of broader immigration concerns among adults in immigrant families. The continued chilling effects experienced by immigrant families in 2020 are alarming in the context of the pandemic, during which people of color, many of whom are part of immigrant families, have disproportionately experienced economic and health hardships.