The article “A profile of low-income working immigrant families” is a 2005 publication by The Urban Institute Series B, number B-67, and has been authored by Randy Capps, Michael Fix, Everett Henderson, and Jane Reardon-Anderson. The article focuses on the experiences and needs of low-income immigrant families.
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Capps et al. (p. 1) state that since the 1990s, immigrant workers have increased, with 14% of the labor force in 2001 is made of immigrants. Moreover, a significant percent (20%) of the immigrant workers are low-wage workers; thus, immigrant families face difficulties in paying their bills. In terms of poverty levels among working immigrant families, immigrant families are twice (42% versus 21%) likely to be low-income families compared to their native counterparts, and they are almost twice poor (12% versus 5%) compared to native families (Capps, p. 2).
Despite the growth of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) over the last few years, only a few numbers of low-income immigrant families are aware of EITC compared to native families. Where low-income families benefit from EITC, the benefit is reduced by the heavy expenses incurred to pay tax preparers. The low EICT benefit in low-income families is also attributable to ineligibility due to being undocumented immigrants as well as low awareness levels.
Most low-income immigrant families do not benefit from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and food stamps, which eventually impacts the child care access from the federal as well as state subsidies. This is more likely in states where child care subsidies are for families that are eligible for TANF.
Housing assistance among low-income immigrant families is also very low compared to native families since some immigrants are undocumented, thus as well as being barred by law. Health insurance coverage for parents is low due to the ineligibility of parents to Medicaid and other programs, especially for illegal immigrants and legal immigrants with less than five years of stay in the U.S (Capps et al., p. 4).
Employer-provided insurance bars many children from coverage, making coverage of children under the SCHIP program wanting. Capps et al. (p. 5) indicate that center-based child care in low-income immigrant families is low due to cost, lack of access, and other barriers such as language and culture.
Capps Randy, Fix Michael, Henderson, Everett and Reardon-Anderson, Jane. A profile of low-income working immigrant families. New Federalism National Survey of America’s Families. The Urban Institute. Series B, No. B-67, 2005.
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