You can help millions in immigrant families get the health care and basic services every family needs to thrive. Learn how and take action using the resources on this page — and then take action here.
For 25 years, an arcane policy known as the “five-year bar” has denied lawfully present immigrant families of color access to critical health and social services. Congress must act now to restore eligibility to federal public benefit programs that provide essential support to individuals and families. These programs are particularly crucial during times of economic and public health crises. The LIFT the BAR Act, led by by Representative Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) and Senator Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), restores access to programs like Medicaid, CHIP, and SNAP, by removing the five-year bar and other barriers that deny critical care and aid to people who are lawfully present.
This page includes resources about the LIFT the BAR Act. These resources have been created by the PIF coalition, close partners, and our allies. As you develop your own materials to meet your community’s needs, we encourage you to take inspiration from these great examples. If you have a resource you’d like to add to this page please email Lena O’Rourke (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Congress Must Pass the LIFT the BAR Act (Protecting Immigrant Families) – One-page fact sheet about the LIFT the BAR Act
- Organizational Sign-On Letter (Protecting Immigrant Families) – Letter of support sent to Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Schumer, signed by over 750 organizations representing all 50 states and Washington, DC.
- LIFT the BAR Act Summary – A formal summary of the LIFT the BAR Act that provides background & bill provisions.
- LIFT the BAR Act Section-by-Section – A section-by-section breakdown of key highlights from the LIFT the BAR Act,
- Legislative Language of the LIFT the BAR Act
Partner Materials & Resources
- Sample Advocacy Letters
- North Carolina: This letter, sent by PIF partner NC Justice Center to a member of North Carolina’s House delegation, illustrates how partners can engage lawmakers who haven’t yet signed onto LTBA but have supported related legislation.
- California: This one, sent by a coalition of Orange County nonprofits, urges a local congressional representative to support the LTBA.
- Support and Pass the LIFT the BAR Act (NILC) – Overview of the legislation and supporting research and evidence for why the policy change is needed
- 25 Years of Immigrant Exclusion from Public Benefits (CLASP) – Blog post that provides history and background on the 5 year bar.
- Congress Can Remove Barriers Immigrants Face in Accessing Health Care (Community Catalyst) – Issue brief on the importance of addressing the 5 year bar to address access to health care.
- Protecting the Health of our Nation’s Essential Workers: Congress Must Lift the “Five-Year Bar” on Medicaid and CHIP Fact Sheet (Families USA) – Two-page fact sheet supporting the case to address a longstanding, unnecessary gap in health coverage by lifting the 5 year bar.
- US Conference of Mayors letter to Congress supporting the LIFT the BAR Act and other efforts to expand coverage to food and nutrition services for immigrants and their families.
- The Lasting Legacy of Exclusion: How the Law that Brought Us Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Excluded Immigrants & Institutionalized Racism in Our Social Support System (Center for the Study of Social Policy and Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality) – This report examines the racist roots of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act (PRWORA)’s anti-immigrant exclusions and highlights the law’s role in institutionalizing and legitimizing anti-immigrant exclusion in a range of public benefits and tax credits.
- Medicaid Coverage for Immigrants (National Health Law Program) – This issue brief outlines which groups of immigrants states must cover, may cover, and cannot cover with federal Medicaid funding (assuming all other Medicaid eligibility criteria are met).
- Farmworkers and the LIFT the BAR Act (Farmworker Justice) – Fact sheet highlighting the ways in which LIFT the BAR would address immigrant farmworker-specific inequalities.
- The Lift the Bar Act: Critical Supports for Immigrant Survivors of Domestic and Sexual Violence (Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence) – Two-pager fact sheet that explains how LIFT the BAR will support immigrant survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, and crime victims who have sought immigration protections.
- Fact Sheet: LIFT the BAR Act (First Focus on Children) – Children of immigrants and immigrant children make up one-quarter of all U.S. kids and represent the fastest growing group of children in America. This fact sheet from First Focus illustrates how the 5 year bar restrictions impact children.
- We Need for Congress to Pass the LIFT the BAR Act (NILC) – Blog post outlining major arguments and the ways that LIFT the BAR would restore and expand access to essential services.
- The Five-Year Bar harms Hispanic children—it’s time to eliminate this restrictive rule (Diversity Data Kids) – Blog post outlining how the 5 year bar restricts Hispanic immigrant childrens’ access to benefits.
- The Five-Year Bar Prevents Older Immigrants from Accessing Programs that Help Them Meet Basic Needs (Justice in Aging) – Fact sheet highlighting the ways in which LIFT the BAR would address inequalities unique to elderly immigrants.
- 5 Year Bar State Factsheets (Children Thrive Action Network): Tailored one-pager factsheets that explain how children in immigrant families are impacted by the 5 year bar across 35 different states.
- Food security blog post – UnidosUS on why a national strategy to reduce hunger must include enactment of the LIFT the BAR Act.