President Trump has intensified national debate about immigration by implementing policies to enhance immigration enforcement and restrict legal immigration. Recent findings show that the climate surrounding these policies has significantly increased fear and uncertainty among immigrant families, broadly affecting families across different immigration statuses and locations. The effects extend to lawfully present immigrants, including lawful permanent residents or “green card” holders, and children in immigrant families, who are predominantly U.S.-born citizens. In particular, findings point to both short- and long-term negative consequences on the health and well-being of children in immigrant families.
Potential changes to public charge policies intended to reduce use of public programs by immigrant families, including their citizen children, could further increase strains on immigrant families and lead to losses in health coverage. To provide insight into the scope of potential impacts of continually evolving immigration policy on children, this data note provides nationwide and state-level estimates (Table 1) of citizen children living in immigrant families and the number currently covered by Medicaid/CHIP coverage.