Summary One in Four Adults in Mixed-Status Families Did Not Participate in Safety Net Programs in 2022 Because of Green Card Concerns
Dulce Gonzalez, Hamutal Bernstein
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Many immigrant families do not enroll eligible members in safety net programs for fear that doing so will expose them to immigration consequences. In this fact sheet, we draw on data from the Urban Institute’s December 2022 Well-Being and Basic Needs Survey to provide an update on the share of adults in immigrant families who avoided noncash government benefits in the past year because of concerns that receiving benefits would affect their or a family member’s ability to obtain a green card in the future.

We find that adults in immigrant families continued to avoid safety net programs because of immigration concerns in 2022, and adults in mixed-status families were more likely than other adults to report this program avoidance. Ensuring equitable health and economic well-being for immigrant families will require efforts to reduce program avoidance because of these immigration-related fears.

Research Areas Immigration Families Social safety net
Tags From Safety Net to Solid Ground Immigrant access to the safety net Immigrant children, families, and communities Mixed-status immigrant families Welfare and safety net programs
Policy Centers Health Policy Center Income and Benefits Policy Center
Research Methods Data analysis
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