Where Poverty and Immigration Policies Intersect

May 23, 2013

By Helly Lee

On May 21, after two weeks of hearings and dozens of votes on amendments, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (S.744) by a bipartisan vote of 13-5. Although the word “poverty” does not appear in the title of the bill, it was at the core of some of the committee’s most contentious debates and will likely remain a focus when the bill reaches the Senate floor in June.

We know that poverty remains one of the most important problems in the U.S. today, especially among children. We need to support strong anti-poverty policies and programs that support low-wage workers and low-income families without using nuanced immigration status to put people in different categories. As the bill comes to the Senate floor, and as the House continues working on its own version of the legislation, Congress will have additional opportunities to improve immigration reform. CLASP will continue to monitor the impact various provisions will have on low-income individuals and families and advocate for policies that help support low-wage earners and keep families out of poverty.

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