Sep 29, 2023 | Children, Economic security, Health, Housing, Tax Credits

Shutdown Puts Immigrant Families at Additional Risk, Advocates Warn

WASHINGTON — News reports suggest an increased likelihood that congressional Republicans will force a federal government shutdown this weekend. While the suspension of critical government services resulting from a shutdown would put all families at risk, immigrant families in the U.S. face additional barriers. Reacting to the possibility of a federal government shutdown, the Protecting Immigrant Families coalition (PIF) issued the following statements:

“We urge lawmakers to avert a shutdown that would compromise the health and stability of families all over the country. Immigrant families are at greater risk, because of language barriers, concerns about how using safety net programs could affect immigration status or applications, and privacy. If a shutdown occurs, we urge members of Congress and the Biden Administration to effectively and accurately communicate with the immigrant families they serve about the accessibility of health care and social services programs. It is also critical that members of Congress and the Administration communicate effectively to immigrant families that services are available when the shutdown ends and normal government operations resume.” – Adriana Cadena, director, Protecting Immigrant Families.

"Shutting down the federal government is reckless and jeopardizes critical public health, nutrition, immigration, and other programs. While we hope any government shutdown will be short, it is imperative that a continuing resolution or other funding legislation safeguards our nation's health and well-being, especially for immigrant families and communities of color, including Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders. AAPCHO urges Congressional leaders to reach an agreement to keep the government open so that it can move forward on addressing our country’s long-term needs, including support for community health centers and removing barriers that prevent immigrants from accessing the care and support they need.” – Jeffrey B. Caballero, executive director of the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO), a member of the PIF steering committee.

“A suspension of essential services from a government shutdown would endanger the well-being and financial stability of families nationwide, especially immigrant families. We urge Congress to put families first and keep safety net programs running.” – Audra Wilson, President and CEO, Shriver Center on Poverty Law, a member of the PIF steering committee.