Immigrant Families Should Not Be Excluded From COVID-19 Response
News

Immigrant Families Should Not Be Excluded From COVID-19 Response

This moment makes it clear that each and every person’s health and well-being is intertwined. Yet, the policy response to the COVID-19 pandemic has explicitly left many immigrant families out. This is particularly troubling in Arizona where more than one in four children are growing up in an immigrant household. Immigrant households are heavily represented in front-line essential jobs and nearly 16 percent of small businesses are owned by a foreign-born Arizonan.

Immigrants hold nearly 1 in 6 essential jobs in Arizona

However, immigrants who paid and filed their taxes using an individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) are ineligible for federal stimulus payments and unemployment benefits. Under the federal CARES Act, stimulus payments are denied to entire families if the tax filer (or their spouse, if filing jointly) uses an ITIN, rather than a social security number.

In Arizona, 104,000 children live in an immigrant household that did not receive a stimulus payment due to an ITIN filing.

In addition to financial relief, state lawmakers can ensure everyone has access to no-cost testing, treatment, and preventive services for COIVD-19 regardless of their immigration status. Many families in Arizona have withdrawn from or have not applied for health benefits they are eligible for due to fear and uncertainty surrounding harmful policies like “public charge”. While other states have used new federal flexibilities to expand where undocumented immigrants can access emergency Medicaid (AHCCCS) for COVID-19 testing and treatment, Arizona has not. States can also allocate state funds to provide Medicaid and CHIP (KidsCare) services to all children, regardless of their immigration status.

The exclusion of certain immigrants undermines our economic recovery and public health. The next federal COVID-19 legislation should extend CARES Act financial payments to ITIN filers and Arizona should expand emergency Medicaid (AHCCCS) for immigrant families who need it.

Read the full fact sheet.

More News

Mohamed and his son in his grocery store, Phoenix Mini Market
News

KIDS COUNT Data Book is the only source to focus on statewide trends about Arizona’s children

Children’s Action Alliance (CAA) is proud to present the 2020 Arizona KIDS COUNT Data Book—the only biennial source to focus on statewide trends about Arizona’s children. Thanks to the support of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, this powerful resource helps inform decision-makers and stakeholders…

News

Child Care is an Essential Service

A new poll released last week by the First Five Years Fund, confirms that now more than ever Americans view child care as an essential service on par with health care and education. The early childhood community was hit hard by the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic created. Many programs closed,…

News

Register to Vote

Children cannot vote, but we can. Arizona’s children are counting on all eligible voters to raise their voices and vote for candidates and ballot measures that will improve the quality of life for families and future generations. Monday, October 5 is the last day to register to vote. To register to…