Kids Count “Race for Results” Report

  • Children of immigrants experience more poverty, academic failure, report finds, By Michael Alison Chandler, October 24, 2017, Washington Post: “Children of immigrants, who make up 28 percent of all children in Maryland and nearly a quarter of those in Virginia and the District, are more likely to live in chronic poverty and less likely to perform at grade level in school, according to a report being released Tuesday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The report highlights disparities in opportunities for children of immigrants. It also highlights the harder-to-measure impacts of persistent stress on children affected by government policies that result in the profiling, deportation and detention of immigrants…”
  • New report finds racial disparities persist for Louisiana kids, By Wilborn P. Nobles III, October 24, 2017, New Orleans Times-Picayune: “Louisiana is among the toughest places in America for children to grow up, especially if you are black, poor or a child of immigrants, according to a study released Tuesday (Oct. 24). One bright spot? Louisiana has a relatively high rate of kids enrolled in an early children education when compared with other states…”
  • Study: Michigan last in well-being of black children, By Karen Bouffard, October 24, 2017, Detroit News: “African-American children in Michigan fare worse on key indicators of well-being than in any other state in the nation, according to a national study released Tuesday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation…”
  • Report: Oregon schools fall short for children of color, immigrant children, By Natalie Pate, October 25, 2017, Statesman Journal: “Oregon’s children of color and children living in immigrant families are struggling to find the resources and opportunities they need to thrive, according to a report released Tuesday. These children are more likely to live in low-income households, less likely to have access to proper health services and are graduating at lower rates than their white counterparts living in U.S.-born families…”

Immigrant Families and Assistance Programs

  • Deportation fears prompt immigrants to cancel food stamps, By Pam Fessler, March 28, 2017, National Public Radio: “Groups that help low-income families get food assistance are alarmed by a recent drop in the number of immigrants seeking help. Some families are even canceling their food stamps and other government benefits, for fear that receiving them will affect their immigration status or lead to deportation. Many of the concerns appear to be unfounded but have been fueled by the Trump administration’s tough stance on immigration…”
  • Trump’s anti-immigrant policies are scaring eligible families away from the safety net, By Annie Lowrey, March 24, 2017, The Atlantic: “As the evening rush hour peaked, Blanca Palomeque stationed herself by the carts selling roasted corn, tamales, and ice cream at the exit to the 90th Street-Elmhurst Avenue subway stop in Queens. She spotted a woman pushing a baby in a pink stroller and tugging along two school-aged girls with pigtails. ‘Excuse me, good afternoon, how are you?’ Palomeque said in Spanish. ‘Do you have food stamps for your children? Here is some information.’ She pushed a flyer into the mother’s hand before rushing over to a pregnant woman to speak with her as well. Palomeque repeated this process over and over again until the trains became less crowded, urging mothers and fathers and grandparents to look into their eligibility for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Medicaid, for themselves, for their children, for a friend, for a neighbor…”

Immigrants and the Foster Care System

When parents deported, kids often land in foster care, By Perla Trevizo, October 4, 2015, Arizona Daily Star: “When parents in this country illegally are detained or deported, their children often are left behind — and some end up in state custody. Because of a lack of uniformity across agencies and across states, the outcome of each case depends largely on individual attorneys, caseworkers, judges and even detention centers…”

Immigrants and Health Insurance Coverage – California

For those in California illegally, health services vary greatly by county, By Soumya Karlamangla, June 11, 2015, Los Angeles Times: “Margarita Vasquez lacked health insurance and couldn’t afford an eye operation to ward off blindness. But under a Los Angeles County program that extends healthcare services to poor residents who are in the country illegally, the 64-year-old underwent surgery earlier this year and can now see clearly. ‘It saved me,’ she said. An hour’s drive to the east, in the flatlands of the Inland Empire, Sujey Becerra wasn’t as fortunate…”

Immigrants and Health Insurance Coverage – California

Calif. has novel view of health care for undocumented immigrants, By Anna Gorman, January 17, 2015, USA Today: “Angel Torres hasn’t been to the doctor since coming to the United States illegally more than two decades ago. But now, his vision is getting blurry and he frequently feels tired. Torres, 51, worries he might have diabetes like his brothers. ‘Time is passing,’ he said in Spanish. ‘I need to get checked out.’ Torres is in luck. He lives in California, which has a dramatically different approach to health care for undocumented immigrants than most other states…”

General Assistance and Immigrants – Maine

  • For couple who escaped from Angola, General Assistance ‘gives us a chance’, By Sandy Butler and Luisa Deprez, September 26, 2014, Bangor Daily News: “Robert and Elena (not their real names) live in Lewiston with four of their five children. They escaped from their homeland of Angola having lost their livelihood, enduring torture and fearing for their lives. Elena came first, one year ago, with their three daughters, ages 7 through 11, having experienced physical and sexual abuse at the hands of the government after being falsely accused of connections to an anti-government separatist group. Robert followed eight months later, when the government started pursuing him. He brought their five-year-old son, but could not afford to bring along his elder, eight-year old son, who remains with family in Angola. They hope to bring him to Maine as soon as possible. General Assistance provided Robert and his family needed emergency assistance when they arrived…”
  • Governor candidates on the issues: Welfare and immigration, By Randy Billings, October 16, 2014, Portland Press Herald: “Welfare has emerged as a high-profile issue in the 2014 gubernatorial race, with ads about illegal immigrants receiving tax dollars filling the airwaves and mailboxes. The University of New Hampshire Survey Center has conducted two polls for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. In June, 46 percent of poll respondents believed that welfare did more harm than good. By September, that sentiment was 50 percent. Maine’s welfare system is a complex web of programs, including MaineCare – the state’s Medicaid program – Temporary Assistance to Needy Families and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps). The programs are mostly funded by federal money…”

Unaccompanied Child Migrants

Surge in child migrants reaches New York, overwhelming advocates, By Kirk Semple, June 17, 2014, New York Times: “For more than a month, 16-year-old Cristian threaded his way from his home in rural Guatemala to the United States, hoping to reunite with his father, whom he had not seen in nearly four years. Guided by smugglers, he rode in cars, buses and trains, walked countless miles, dodged the authorities in three countries, hid out in dreary safe houses and went days at a time without food. But Cristian’s trip came to an abrupt halt in March, when he was corralled on a patch of Texas ranchland by American law enforcement agents. Now the daunting trials of his migration have been replaced by a new set of difficulties. Though he was released to his father, a kitchen worker in a restaurant in Ulster County, N.Y., Cristian has been ordered to appear in immigration court for a deportation hearing and is trying to find a low-cost lawyer to take his case . . .”

Child Welfare and Foster Care

  • Increasingly, youths are entering U.S. alone and undocumented, By Julie Shaw, December 20, 2013, Philadelphia Daily News: “Esteban rode on top of seven cargo trains, narrowly escaped death at the hands of a Mexican gang leader and was robbed on his years-long journey from Honduras to Philadelphia…And like a staggering number of minors under 18, Esteban – not his real name – entered without papers and without a parent or adult guardian. In the last two years, the number of unaccompanied children who have made the dangerous journey alone, and who have ended up in federal custody, has nearly quadrupled…”
  • Private foster care system, intended to save children, endangers some, By Garrett Therolf, December 18, 2013, Los Angeles Times: “They were found barefoot in January, huddled under a blanket against the biting High Desert winter cold, two kids on the run from a former foster mother, who had bound their hands with zip-ties and beat them. Investigators substantiated in October that a Lancaster foster father sexually abused two young sisters in his care. Such cases of abuse are scattered through the files of California’s privatized foster care system — children whipped with belts, burned with a car cigarette lighter and traumatized by beatings and threats. California began a modest experiment 27 years ago, privatizing a portion of foster care in the belief that it would better serve children and be less expensive. Lawmakers decided to enlist local charities to help recruit and supervise foster parents. Today, the state’s private foster family system — the largest in the nation — has become more expensive and more dangerous than the government-run homes it has largely replaced…”
  • Tennessee uses incentives to change a troubled foster care system, By Garrett Therolf, December 18, 2013, Los Angeles Times: “Private foster care agencies in California are paid a set fee for each child — about $1,870 per month to cover the cost of care and administration. The payment system has created an inadvertent incentive for some foster agencies to scrimp on care and lower standards on foster parents so they can take on more children. Over the last two decades, a group of states has begun to take a new approach based on setting big incentives — and big penalties. The basic strategy has been adopted by at least 12 states across the country, including Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska, Florida and Tennessee…”

Aging Immigrant Population – New York City

Immigrant struggles compounded by old age, By Kirk Semple, July 25, 2013, New York Times: “After retiring from his job as a security guard in 2011, Wahid Ali spent his days struggling against tedium. Speaking only limited English and with few friends, he had little to do and mainly stayed at home, a small rented room in an illegal basement apartment in Coney Island. But the tougher fight was financial. Mr. Ali, 78, had meager savings, and his wife had not worked since they immigrated to the United States from Pakistan in 2006. So the couple depended on his monthly Social Security check of less than $600…”

Affordable Care Act and Safety-Net Hospitals

Hospitals fear cuts in aid for care to illegal immigrants, By Nina Bernstein, July 26, 2012, New York Times: “President Obama’s health care law is putting new strains on some of the nation’s most hard-pressed hospitals, by cutting aid they use to pay for emergency care for illegal immigrants, which they have long been required to provide. The federal government has been spending $20 billion annually to reimburse these hospitals – most in poor urban and rural areas – for treating more than their share of the uninsured, including illegal immigrants. The health care law will eventually cut that money in half, based on the premise that fewer people will lack insurance after the law takes effect. But the estimated 11 million people now living illegally in the United States are not covered by the health care law. Its sponsors, seeking to sidestep the contentious debate over immigration, excluded them from the law’s benefits…”

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – Kansas

Kansas food stamp policy becomes a political tangle, By Laura Bauer and Brad Cooper, March 15, 2012, Kansas City Star: “Months after a new Kansas policy cut food stamps going to thousands of children, some lawmakers are mounting efforts to help those families. But they’re finding it’s difficult when the issue involves families with some members who are living in the country illegally. Legislative leaders don’t appear eager to tackle any illegal immigration issue in an election year. Earlier this week, senators in Topeka proposed an amendment to the Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services budget that ultimately could have restored some aid to the children who are U.S. citizens but whose parents are illegal immigrants. But on Wednesday, the amendment was dropped…”

Food Assistance and Immigrant Families – Kansas

Kansas Gov. Brownback to review state’s food stamp policy, By Laura Bauer, January 25, 2012, Kansas City Star: “Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback said Tuesday that he would review a new policy that has eliminated food stamps for hundreds of low-income children who are U.S. citizens but whose parents are illegal immigrants. The Star reported Sunday how the new way the state Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services counts income for food stamp eligibility has affected families across Kansas. Since the new policy went into effect Oct. 1, more than 1,000 households have lost their food stamps. Many said they had relied heavily on benefits provided by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Brownback told reporters Tuesday that he would look into the new policy and talk to SRS workers in the field to see how families have been affected. Advocates for low-income families were encouraged by Brownback’s words, although the governor’s spokeswoman said no changes are planned…”

Food Assistance and Immigrant Families – Kansas

Kansas slashes food aid for children of illegal immigrants, By Laura Bauer, January 22, 2012, Kansas City Star: “Pedro moved to the Kansas City area about 13 years ago and has held the same job for 11. Though he sometimes struggles to pay bills, he knows most people think he should receive no public aid. He’s an illegal immigrant. He doesn’t deserve handouts. He understands that. ‘I’ve never asked for anything for myself,’ said Pedro, who didn’t want his last name used to protect his family. ‘Never. I just work. Work hard.’ A new debate swirling around Kansas, though, isn’t about Pedro. It’s about two of his three children. They were born here, and one day they will have driver’s licenses and the right to vote, just like any other U.S. citizen. Early last year, when they needed food assistance, they got it. Pedro’s family received nearly $300 a month in food stamps. Enough to buy milk, eggs and meat, fruit and yogurt. Now, they get nothing. Neither do hundreds of other Kansas families who, like Pedro’s, are a mix of undocumented immigrants and U.S. citizens. At a time when Gov. Sam Brownback has vowed to reduce child poverty, the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services – a state agency the governor controls – made a policy change that eliminated food stamps for hundreds of low-income U.S. children whose parents are illegal immigrants. For more households, benefits were reduced…”

State Program Cuts – Maine

  • Cuts to MaineCare, welfare approved in spring 2011 taking effect, By Kathryn Skelton, January 5, 2012, Lewiston Sun Journal: “Changes in the state budget approved last spring and now in effect include cutting MaineCare coverage for hundreds, stopping food stamps for some and, in two weeks, telling 2,500 people receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families: Your time’s up. Also coming soon: new rules that end TANF benefits for some immigrants and a measure to drug-screen TANF recipients with drug-related felonies dating back to 1996. With three of the five changes affecting legal noncitizens who have been in the U.S. fewer than five years, one advocate said Portland and Lewiston will be hardest hit…”
  • New study disputes LePage administration on MaineCare’s childless adults, By Jackie Farwell, January 9, 2012, Bangor Daily News: “The childless adults Gov. Paul LePage has proposed dropping from MaineCare are far from young and healthy, despite rhetoric to the contrary, according to a report released Monday by an advocacy group for the poor. More than 40 percent of childless adults covered through MaineCare are older than 45 and many have serious medical conditions, states the report prepared by Maine Equal Justice Partners. Known as ‘noncategoricals’ because they don’t fall under categories of mandatory coverage, the childless adult group consists of beneficiaries ages 21-64 with no dependents in the home who don’t qualify as disabled under federal guidelines…”

Immigrants and the Foster Care System

Thousands of children of deported parents get stuck in foster care, By Francisco Miraval, November 17, 2011, Denver Post: “In the United States today there are at least 5,000 children in foster care because their parents were deported or have been arrested due to irregular immigration status, according to a recent report prepared by the Applied Research Center, a New York organization that promotes social and racial justice. The actual number of immigrant children in this situation could be much higher, said Seth Wessler, author of the report, adding that whatever the true figure is, it is likely to triple over the next five years if immigration laws do not change and if the emphasis on enforcement continues. Part of the problem in estimating how many children of deported immigrants are transferred to foster families is that national data simply do not exist, said Wessler, because neither Immigration and Customs Enforcement nor social services departments are required to compile the information. Moreover, within many states, such as Colorado, each county operates independently with regard to foster fami- lies. If the data exist, these agencies have no obligation to share it…”

State Immigration Law – Alabama

  • Alabama life already changing under tough immigration law, By Patrik Jonsson, September 29, 2011, Christian Science Monitor: “Even before federal judge Sharon Lovelace Blackburn upheld the toughest parts of Alabama’s groundbreaking immigration law Wednesday, daily life in Alabama had already begun to look – and feel – a little different. The state’s agriculture commissioner says some farmers are mourning squash rotting in the fields, after migrant workers either left or avoided the state, some in fear that their children would be used as deportation tools as schools next week begin checking the immigration status of incoming students. Two days before Judge Blackburn proffered her ruling, Alabama announced a new car-registration database called ALVerify, to head off fears of citizen revolts against long courthouse lines as residents prove their citizenship. And those working to rebuild the state from this spring’s massive tornado outbreak predicted delays under the expectation that Hispanic workers will be harder to find to lay roofs, build decks, and pour foundations…”
  • Law doesn’t mark end of Alabama immigration battle, By Scott Neuman, September 29, 2011, National Public Radio: “Alabama’s toughest-in-the-nation law on illegal immigration went into effect Thursday, a day after a federal judge upheld some of its key provisions, but the court battle over the issue appears far from over. State law enforcement can now question and detain without bond people they suspect may be in the country illegally, and public schools are required to verify students’ immigration status. U.S. District Judge Sharon Blackburn on Wednesday upheld those and other key aspects of the law. The Justice Department, civil rights groups and some Alabama churches had sued to stop the measure from taking effect…”

Health and Poverty – Texas

Major health problems linked to poverty, By Emily Ramshaw, July 9, 2011, New York Times: “Laura knows what comfort feels like: Before leaving Reynosa, Mexico, for Texas a few years ago, she lived with her in-laws in a house with bedrooms and flushing toilets, with electricity and a leak-free roof. Now, the 23-year-old – since deserted by her husband but still helped financially by his father – pays $187 a month to live in a dirt-floored shack that is part broken-down motor home, part splintered plywood shed. She bathes her five runny-nosed, half-clothed children, all under 10, with water siphoned from a neighbor’s garden hose. And she scrubs their diapers and school uniforms in the same sink where she rinses their dinner beans. As she glanced sheepishly at her feet, Laura, who declined to give her name because of her immigration status, pointed out the family’s bathroom: a makeshift outhouse, only yards from the large scrap pile her youngest children scale like a mountain. She would return to a better life in Mexico, she said, if she were not sure her children would have a brighter future in the United States. The conditions in which Laura and her children live are common for the roughly half-million people living in Texas’ colonias. These impoverished communities are found in all border states, but Texas, with the longest border, has the most, an estimated 2,300…”

Assistance Programs and Children of Illegal Immigrants – Los Angeles, CA

L.A. County welfare to children of illegal immigrants grows, By Teresa Watanabe, September 5, 2010, Los Angeles Times: “Welfare payments to children of illegal immigrants in Los Angeles County increased in July to $52 million, prompting renewed calls from one county supervisor to rein in public benefits to such families. The payments, made to illegal immigrants for their U.S. citizen children, included $30 million in food stamps and $22 million from the CalWorks welfare program, according to county figures released Friday by Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich. The new figure represents an increase of $3.7 million from July 2009 and makes up 23% of all county welfare and food stamp assistance, according to county records…”

State Cuts to Programs for the Poor – Virginia, California, Minnesota

  • Va gov seeks deep cuts to schools, social services, By Bob Lewis (AP), February 17, 2010, Daily Press: “Gov. Bob McDonnell has proposed deep, unprecedented cuts to public schools, the state government work force and health and welfare safety net programs in a $2.1 billion bid to balance a critically troubled state budget. The Republican governor, who ruled out any tax boosts before he took office a month ago, sent shock waves across a General Assembly struggling with its own budget plans and through teachers, state workers…”
  • Proposed cuts would end California assistance for most new legal immigrants, By Alexandra Zavis and Anna Gorman, February 16, 2010, Los Angeles Times: “Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s latest proposals to close California’s budget shortfall would end public assistance for most new legal immigrants, eliminating emergency cash, food and medical aid for those who don’t yet qualify for federal welfare. The proposal would represent an about-face for the state. In 1996, Congress denied access to welfare for most legal immigrants who weren’t citizens. California and other states established programs to fill the gap. Now, officials say the state can’t afford the price tag. Schwarzenegger’s plan would save $304 million but leave tens of thousands of elderly, disabled and impoverished people with no safety net in a deep recession…”
  • Advocates: Grants program can’t replace Pawlenty’s proposed cuts to the poor, By Madeleine Baran, February 18, 2010, Minnesota Public Radio: ” Thousands of Minnesota’s poorest residents still stand to lose their only source of income if Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s budget passes, despite a new welfare program the governor said would replace it. The state’s department of human services today unveiled more information about a new program offering short-term grants that Pawlenty said would offset his proposed cuts. Low-income adults could access the crisis program only once per year, unlike the current program, which provides up to $203 a month…”
  • Votes, then a veto, for health care, By Warren Wolfe and Rachel E. Stassen-Berger, February 19, 2010, Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune: “Acting with bipartisan force and unusual speed, the Minnesota Legislature voted overwhelmingly Thursday to extend a health insurance program that covers Minnesota’s poorest and sickest citizens — only to find Gov. Tim Pawlenty waiting at the end of the day with a veto. Pawlenty issued his veto from Washington, D.C., where he was preparing for a major political conference. The day’s events only escalated an emotional showdown among the governor, legislators and health care advocates over General Assistance Medical Care (GAMC), a program seen as a key safety net covering 35,000 poor adults in a typical month…”

Illegal Immigrant Population in the US

Illegal immigrant numbers plunge, By Teresa Watanabe, February 11, 2010, Los Angeles Times: “A new report that the nation’s illegal immigrant population has declined by nearly 1 million has sharpened the debate over whether to legalize those remaining or allow their numbers to shrink through attrition. The number of illegal immigrants living in the United States dropped to 10.8 million in 2009 from 11.6 million in 2008, marking the second consecutive year of decline and the sharpest decrease in at least three decades, according to a report this week by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security…”