Center for American Progress

If Immigrants on the Road to Citizenship Are Denied Key Social Services, We All Suffer

If Immigrants on the Road to Citizenship Are Denied Key Social Services, We All Suffer

Denying immigrants on the road to citizenship access to key social services hurts not only them but also the entire nation.

Part of a Series
idea light bulb

This week the Senate began debate on an immigration-reform plan that includes a road map to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants striving for a formal place in American society. The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Reform Act of 2013, or S. 744, proposed by a bipartisan coalition of senators, outlines an arduous 13-year pathway to citizenship through which undocumented immigrants may gain legal status and citizenship. Opponents of reform have already proposed amendments that would undermine the basic economic security of people on the road to citizenship.

In particular, senators have proposed limiting the eligibility of immigrants in Registered Provisional Immigrant, or RPI, status—a temporary legal status that is the first step on the path—to receive the earned income tax credit and the child tax credit. In addition, senators have proposed amendments that would bar even legalized immigrants who adjust to legal permanent resident status from receiving supplemental nutrition assistance (formerly known as food stamps) and have in the past attempted to bar anyone from receiving supplemental nutrition assistance unless every member of their family is a citizen or permanent resident (green-card holder).

For more on this topic, please see:

The positions of American Progress, and our policy experts, are independent, and the findings and conclusions presented are those of American Progress alone. A full list of supporters is available here. American Progress would like to acknowledge the many generous supporters who make our work possible.

Explore The Series


Just released!

Interactive: Mapping access to abortion by congressional district

Click here