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Working to expand health care, nutrition assistance, and other essential programs for immigrants

APA Services endorses H.R. 5227, the Lift the Bar Act, led by Representatives Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) and Tony Cárdenas (D-CA).

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American Psychological Association. (2021, September 14). Working to expand health care, nutrition assistance, and other essential programs for immigrants.

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APA Services endorsed H.R. 5227, the Lift the Bar Act (PDF, 109KB) introduced on Sept. 10. The legislation eliminates the current five-year waiting period for immigrants to access essential health care programs such as: Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and the Supplemental Security Income program. In 2019, the APA Council of Representatives passed its Immigration and Refugee Policy Statement (PDF, 49KB) which underscores APA’s support for the well-being of immigrants and refugees, including appropriate medical, mental health, and social services.

In 1996, Congress passed immigration legislation that created a five-year waiting period for some programs for immigrants legally living in the United States. These are programs that provide critical health care for immigrants. Those who were limited by the ban include: people who hold green cards, people in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, crime victims, and noncitizens who are living in the United States lawfully. Many of these individuals also served as essential workers during the pandemic, demonstrating their importance to the country and putting themselves at risk. The legislation strives to help immigrants who are lawfully present receive health care and nutritious food.

For more information, contact Serena Dávila.