IMMIGRATION POLICIES: Benefit Crackdown Punishes Children
Policies to keep illegal immigrants from receiving benefits inadvertently punish their children, many of whom are legal U.S. citizens, according to a new Urban Institute study. Nationally, nearly 10% of all U.S. families are "mixed-status," meaning that children live with one or two noncitizen parents, while in Los Angeles nearly half of all children live in mixed-status families, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. "The numbers are mind-boggling," said co-author Michael Fix. He noted that "siblings living under the same roof are often not eligible for the same benefits," creating a "two-tier system for immigrant families." As a result, he said, one sibling may be eligible for Medicaid and have more health care options, while another sibling without Medicaid has fewer options. The situation is in part to blame for children's lack of health insurance, the report found. Twenty-one percent of uninsured children nationwide and "more than half of the uninsured children in California" live in mixed- status families. Fix said he hopes the study will rekindle debates over immigration laws and policies that limit welfare benefits. Click here to read "All Under One Roof: Mixed-Status Families In an Era of Reform" (Curiel, 6/24).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.