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Understanding the Consequences of Current Immigration Policy

The Trump administration has advanced sweeping changes to federal immigration policy, including heightened immigration enforcement, termination of temporary protections against deportation, cuts to refugee and asylee admissions, and expanding the “public charge” rule to limit green card and temporary visa applications.

Advocates, policymakers, service providers, and the research community are concerned that the current immigration policy climate could lead immigrant families—including those with US citizen children—to forgo assistance that helps them meet their basic needs and to disengage with critical public services.

There have been many reports of fear, confusion, and families dropping out of assistance programs because of anti-immigrant rhetoric and policy changes, but the long-term consequences for families and the ripple effects on communities and the economy have yet to be understood. Urban Institute researchers are investigating the short- and long-term consequences of evolving immigration policy on the well-being of immigrant families and the communities where they live.

Leveraging data and evidence to monitor impacts

Urban Institute researchers are leveraging data and evidence to investigate potential consequences of the newly proposed “public charge” rule and monitor its effects, such as how it could affect food insecurity, housing security, health insurance coverage, and preschool participation among immigrant families.

Urban Institute researchers are also using the Wellbeing and Basic Needs Survey (WBNS) to understand the health and well-being of immigrant families, including the effect of public charge and other immigration policy changes on their daily lives and their participation in safety net programs. The survey, which monitors changes in individual and family health and well-being in the context of a changing social safety net, will allow researchers to gain insights on how immigrant families are coping with immigration policy developments.

To learn more about Urban’s research initiatives on immigration, please go to the Program on Immigrants and Immigration.

Project Team

Project Team

Hamutal Bernstein, Senior Research Associate and Director, Program on Immigrants and Immigration

Genevieve M. Kenney, Senior Fellow and Co-director, Health Policy Center

Elaine Waxman, Senior Fellow, Income and Benefits Policy Center

Stephen Zuckerman, Senior Fellow and Co-director, Health Policy Center

Archana Pyati, Communications Manager