Immigrant Advocates Push for Restoration of Benefits
Advocates for immigrants rallied on Capitol Hill yesterday to urge lawmakers to approve three bills that would restore benefits that were cut as part of a 1996 welfare reform law, the Dallas Morning News reports. Current law bars immigrants who have entered the United States after Aug. 22, 1996 from receiving Medicaid and CHIP benefits, among other services. Congress has restored food stamp benefits to about 250,000 immigrants and Supplemental Security Income and Medicaid benefits to certain others. One pending bill (HR 1528) that advocates support would extend Medicaid and CHIP eligibility to children and pregnant women who legally entered the country after Aug. 22, 1996. A second bill (S 8, Title VI) would establish food stamp eligibility for all legal immigrants, and a third bill (HR 2258) would grant Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income and food stamp benefits to immigrants who are "victims of domestic violence." More than 1,000 organizations, including religious, charitable and food assistance and immigrant-rights groups, have formed a coalition to "press" for the legislation. The advocates said yesterday that the "time is ripe" to restore aid. The Morning News reports that the chances for restoring benefits are "better" this year than they were last year, because Republicans and Democrats alike are "vying" for immigrant votes (Mittelstadt, Dallas Morning News, 7/13).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.