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Immigrants

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The immigrant population in the United States has burgeoned over the past few decades. From 1990 to 2006, the number of immigrants rose from 20 million to more than 37 million. Urban Institute immigration policy experts study how the foreign-born population is growing, integrating, and changing.

We have analyzed immigrants' contributions to the labor force and the economy, tracked fast-growing immigrant communities, studied the effect of No Child Left Behind on immigrant children and English Language Learners, and surveyed foreign-born households’ health, well-being, and economic mobility. Read more.

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Low-Income Immigrant Families' Access to SNAP and TANF (Research Brief)
Devlin Hanson, Heather Koball, Karina Fortuny

The Immigrant Access to Health and Human Services project describes the policy contexts that affect immigrant access to health and human services. The study describes the federal, state, and local program eligibility provisions related to immigrants, barriers to immigrants’ access to health and human services for which they are eligible, and innovative practices that can help states manage their programs. This brief presents data on poverty rates and receipt of two public benefits -- SNAP and TANF – for immigrant and US-born families. We find that children with foreign-born parents are overrepresented among poor families, but underrepresented in public benefits enrollment.

Posted to Web: November 13, 2014Publication Date: November 13, 2014

California's Implementation of the Affordable Care Act: Implications for Immigrants in the State (Research Brief)
Julia Gelatt, Heather Koball, Juan Pedroza

The Immigrant Access to Health and Human Services project describes the legal and policy contexts that affect immigrant access to health and human services. The study aims to describe federal, state, and local program eligibility provisions related to immigrants, major barriers to immigrants’ access to health and human services for which they are legally eligible, and innovative or promising practices that can help states manage their programs. This brief, drafted in late 2013, describes how the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA) in California might affect immigrants’ access to health care in the state.

Posted to Web: November 13, 2014Publication Date: November 13, 2014

Improving Access of Low-Income Immigrant Families to Health and Human Services: The Role of Community-Based Organizations (Research Brief)
Hirokazu Yoshikawa, Christina Weiland, Kjersti Ulvestad, Krista Perreira, Robert Crosnoe, Ajay Chaudry, Karina Fortuny, Juan Pedroza

The Immigrant Access to Health and Human Services project describes the legal and policy contexts that affect immigrant access to health and human services. The study aims to identify and describe federal, state, and local program eligibility provisions related to immigrants, major barriers to immigrants’ access to health and human services for which they are legally eligible, and innovative or promising practices that can help states manage their programs. This brief describes innovative practices that community-based organizations have used to address under-enrollment of low-income immigrant families in SNAP, TANF, Medicaid, and CHIP in four states – Maryland, Massachusetts, North Carolina, and Texas.

Posted to Web: November 12, 2014Publication Date: November 12, 2014

Immigrant Access to Health and Human Services: Final Report (Research Report)
Julia Gelatt, Heather Koball

The Immigrant Access to Health and Human Services project describes the legal and policy contexts that affect immigrant access to health and human services. The study aims to identify and describe federal, state, and local program eligibility provisions related to immigrants, major barriers to immigrants’ access to health and human services for which they are legally eligible, and innovative or promising practices that can help states manage their programs. This final report summarizes findings from the seven research briefs and one report that constitute this project.

Posted to Web: November 12, 2014Publication Date: November 12, 2014

Understanding the Organization, Operation, and Victimization Process of Labor Trafficking in the United States (Research Report)
Colleen Owens, Meredith Dank, Amy Farrell, Justin Breaux, Isela Banuelos, Rebecca Pfeffer, Ryan Heitsmith, Katie Bright, Jack McDevitt

This study chronicles the experiences of labor trafficking victims from the point of recruitment for work, their forced labor victimization, their attempts to escape and get help, and their efforts to seek justice through civil or criminal cases. The report finds that legal loopholes and lax enforcement enable labor traffickers to commit crimes against workers in major US industries: agriculture, domestic work, hotels, restaurants, and construction. Interview and case file data detail the ubiquity of trafficking, which occurs both in plain sight and behind lock and key. Detailed recommendations propose next steps for policy and practice.

Posted to Web: October 21, 2014Publication Date: October 21, 2014

Lax Enforcement and Legal Loopholes Enable Labor Trafficking Victimization: Broadest look ever at victim experiences in five major US industries (Press Release)
Urban Institute

This study chronicles the experiences of labor trafficking victims from the point of recruitment for work, their forced labor victimization, their attempts to escape and get help, and their efforts to seek justice through civil or criminal cases. The report finds that legal loopholes and lax enforcement enable labor traffickers to commit crimes against workers in major US industries: agriculture, domestic work, hotels, restaurants, and construction. Interview and case file data detail the ubiquity of trafficking, which occurs both in plain sight and behind lock and key. Detailed recommendations propose next steps for policy and practice.

Posted to Web: October 21, 2014Publication Date: October 21, 2014

Overview of Immigrants' Eligibility For SNAP, TANF, Medicaid, and CHIP (Research Brief)
Ajay Chaudry, Karina Fortuny

The Immigrant Access to Health and Human Services project maps and describes the legal and policy context that can affect immigrant access to health and human services, and can affect the well-being of immigrants and their children. This brief describes key federal and state immigrant eligibility provisions for TANF, SNAP, and Medicaid/ CHIP to help inform policymakers, program administrators, and communities serving immigrant families and children.

Posted to Web: October 16, 2014Publication Date: October 16, 2014

The Affordable Care Act: Coverage Implications and Issues for Immigrant Families (Research Brief)
Michael Huntress, Genevieve M. Kenney

The Affordable Care Act has particular relevance for the United States’ foreign-born population since they are over 2.5 times more likely than their native-born peers to lack health insurance and because they constitute a large and growing share of the U.S. population. This brief highlights the demographic and socioeconomic characteristics and health insurance coverage for key immigrant subgroups and describes how the ACA could affect coverage and access to care for these subgroups and their families.

Posted to Web: October 16, 2014Publication Date: October 16, 2014

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