For 25 years, immigrants with “green cards” and other lawful immigration statuses have been denied access to federal health care, nutrition, housing, and other programs for their first five years in the United States, despite paying federal taxes during that period. That’s because In 1996, Congress passed restrictive welfare and immigration legislation that created unnecessary barriers, including an arbitrary five-year waiting-period—often referred to as “the five-year bar.” Now, Congress has the opportunity to fix this injustice and restore access to public benefits by passing the LIFT the BAR Act (HR 5227).
The LIFT the BAR Act restores access to public 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 and their families.
The legislation ensures that immigrants have access to services based on the income and resources that are actually available to them. And it ensures that anti-immigrant politicians cannot undermine the basic protections extended by federal safety net programs, while restoring state and local flexibility to provide benefits to immigrants with their own funds.
TAKE ACTION today by sending a letter to your Member of Congress and tell them to co-sponsor the LIFT the BAR Act today! 25 years is long enough to wait for justice.