Since the 1996 welfare reform, children in immigrant families, the majority of which are US citizens by birth, have been increasingly excluded from social programs, extending to the 2020 CARES Act. Given ongoing policy deliberations over pandemic-related relief efforts, the impending start of the next presidential term, the recent National Academies report A Roadmap to Reducing Child Poverty, and the national reckoning on racial and ethnic inequality, there is an opportunity to reexamine immigrant restrictions in safety net policies. This effort will inform key federal policymakers about the effects of immigrant exclusions and promote the inclusion of children of immigrants in social policy and pandemic-related recovery measures. The research review will discuss: 1) the demographic, economic, and social importance of children of immigrants and their families; 2) the extent and effects of child poverty among children of immigrants; 3) how the exclusion of children of immigrants and their families has evolved since the 1996 welfare reform; 4) the effects of restrictions on immigrant eligibility and access to anti-poverty programs on the children of immigrants; 5) how the response to COVID-19 has maintained or deepened existing restrictions; and 6) policy principles that should guide immigrant eligibility and participation in anti-poverty programs moving forward. The research review will be accompanied by a policy review of federal anti-poverty policies. The partners will produce review products, such as reports and policy briefs and will engage in outreach and education efforts with policymakers, researchers, and civil society.
UnidosUS and the Institute for Child, Youth, and Family Policy seek to leverage a unique policy window to ensure that the children of immigrants are included in safety net programs and post-pandemic recovery efforts.