From the beginnings of this country, immigrants have been a part of our changing demographic and an integral component of the economic and social fabric of our nation. In 2011, the nation’s total immigrant population reached a record 40.4 million, comprising 13 percent of the total U.S. population. In that same year, the undocumented immigrant population was estimated to be 11.1 million. Clearly, immigration is one of the country’s most important – and contentious – issues of the day.
CLASP recognizes the deep impact immigration reform will have on the millions of low-income immigrant and mixed-status families and individuals in the U.S. Many of these families include children and often live below or just at the poverty line. And many may work in low-wage, poor-quality jobs without access to health benefits for themselves and their families.
Immigration reform will have a deep impact, especially for those who are currently undocumented. Provisions within proposed immigration reform legislation will provide an opportunity for individuals and families to legalize their immigration status and eventually become citizens, with full rights and responsibilities. However, for many low-income immigrants, provisions within immigration policies may still create barriers. Such provisions include 1) the lengthy time required to wait in a newly created Registered Provisional Immigrant (RPI) status, 2) considerable fees, 3) rigorous eligibility requirements to renew RPI status and to adjust to Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status, and 4) numerous other provisions. As the immigration reform debate continues, we will monitor legislative developments and advocate for solutions that best serve low-income immigrants and strengthen the communities in which they live.
June 2013 - Senate passes comprehensive immigration reform legislation.
February 2013 – Senate “Gang of 8” and the president each introduced their broad proposals for immigration reform.
April 2013 – Senate “Gang of 8” introduces S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013.
May 2013 – Mark up of S. 744 in the Senate Judiciary Committee
Resources and Publications
Jul 25, 2013 I emily firgens
A Pathway to Citizenship Plays a Positive Role in Children’s Development Estimates show that 5.5 million U.S. children live with at least one unauthorized immigrant parent-4.5 million of these are U.S.-born citizen children. While many have written about the experiences of children in immigrant families, little research to date has looked at how parents' unauthorized status affects their children's development. A new report from Migration Policy Institute (MPI) suggests that having an unauthorized immigrant parent is associated with negative developmental outcomes, including include lower cognitive skills and emotional well-being in early childhood and higher levels of anxiety and depressive symptoms in adolescence.
JUN 28, 2013 I HELLY LEE
Senate Passes Immigration Bill; A Critical Step Toward Needed Reform Yesterday, the Senate voted and passed the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (S. 744) by a bipartisan vote of 68-32. Vice President Joe Biden – who typically only participates in critical legislative discussions -- presided over the historic vote in the Senate to pass an immigration bill that provides a path to citizenship for nearly 11 million immigrants. While we have deep concerns about some portions of the bill, it is a critical step in the effort to reform our immigration system.
JUN 12, 2013 I MARCIE FOSTER AND HELLY LEE
Rubio Immigration Amendment Would Delay Path to Citizenship for Millions Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) is a member of the “Gang of Eight” that negotiated the immigration reform bill, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (S. 744), which represents a bipartisan compromise. Nonetheless, this week, Rubio announced that the bill’s requirement that immigrants learn English or be enrolled in a “course of study” prior to gaining LPR status does not go far enough.
may 23, 2013 I HELLY LEE
Where Poverty and Immigration Policies Intersect Although the word “poverty” does not appear in the title of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (S.744), it was at the core of some of the Senate Judiciary Committee's most contentious debates and will likely remain a focus when the bill reaches the Senate floor in June.
APR 23, 2013 I HELLY LEE
Immigration Bill Envisions Path to Citizenship The bipartisan Senate "Gang of 8" introduced S. 744 the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013. If enacted, this bill would be the largest scale change to immigration laws in over 25 years.
MAR 29, 2013 I HELLY LEE
Budget Amendment Foreshadows Immigration Debate Ahead The Senate budget vote-a-rama saw the introduction of an amendment that would have prohibited both undocumented and lawfully present immigrants from qualifying for health care subsidies through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Medicaid.
FEB 05, 2013 I HELLY LEE AND LAVANYA mOHAN
The President, the Gang of 8, and Immigration Reform The President and the Senate’s bi-partisan Gang of 8 each introduced broad outlines of proposals to reform our broken immigration system.
DEC 10, 2012 I HELLY LEE
Immigrant Issues Are American Issues Immigration reform is gaining momentum again. Barriers unique to many immigrants exacerbate their struggles to ensuring a secure future for their families.
JUN 18, 2012 I HELLY LEE
Update: Deferred Action for DREAMers! The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced a new deferred action process for DREAM Act-eligible youth (also known as DREAMers).
FEB 2010 I HANNAH MATTHEWS
Immigrant Families and Child Care Subisides: What Federal Law and Guidance Says Federal law establishes policies on immigrant eligibility for child care assistance, yet questions regarding eligibility remain at the state and local level.
MAR 2009 I HANNAH MATTHEWS
Ten Policies to Improve Access to Quality Child Care for Children in Immigrant Families This report proposes state policies for better access to quality child care for children in immigrant families.
Preserve the Child Support System: Don’t Let the New Hire Database be Hijacked for Immigrant Employment Verification Congress should not authorize the use of a child support data base, called the National Directory of New Hires, to establish mandatory electronic employment verification system (EEVS).
Breaking Down Barriers: The CLASP Immigrant Families and Early Education Project This presentation provides an overview of barriers immigrant families with children face in accessing early education services along with preliminary impressions from site visits.
2004 I MARK H. GREENBERG AND HEDIEH RAHMANOU
Looking to the Future: Commentaries This commentary summarizes some of the key data suggesting that children of immigrants are likely to suffer significantly greater hardships than children of U.S.-born parents; and proposes a set of policies that could enhance the well-being of this significant and growing share of the nation's children.
AUG, 2003 I HEIDE SPRUCK WRIGLEY, ELISE RICHER, KARIN MARTINSON, HITOMI KUBO, AND JULIE STRAWN
The Language of Opportunity: Expanding Employment Prospects for Adults with Limited English Skills This brief summarizes how the United States can provide better high-quality education and training services for adults with limited English skills.