COVID-19 Response: Invisible Problems

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Immigrant communities of color have been particularly hard-hit by Covid-19 because these immigrants often have low-paying jobs where social distancing is impossible and they cannot afford not to work. Sadly, these immigrants face deeper risk under the federal government's new "public charge" immigration rule that went into effect in late February as the virus began to spread. The public charge rule has left many immigrants increasingly afraid to seek any public services, including medical care arising from the pandemic, food stamps, housing aid, or cash welfare because they fear doing so could lead to their deportation or prevent them from receiving permanent residency in the future. In reality, the immigration rules provide that claiming many benefits -- and all medicaid --will not impact immigration status. But there is no "single-stop" online to answer immigrants questions of what benefits they actually qualify for without endangering their immigration status.

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