After two years of President Trump’s aggressive moves as regards immigration, it has been observed that fewer immigrant families now use federal food stamps. It must be noted that in this same period, no formal changes were made to the food stamps program as well as its eligibility rules. Experts in the country think the decline in federal food stamps’ usage is as a result of the government’s anti-immigrant rhetoric.
Researchers who have been studying US food stamps for decades as well as experts who have been monitoring Trump’s immigration policies said the implication of the decline in the patronage of the program is that eligible families who still very much need such benefits are leaving the program of their own accord because they are afraid of eventualities should they apply through the official channels. In simpler terms, immigrant families are afraid to apply for federal assistance programs.
A study by researchers from Boston Medical Center’s Children’s HealthWatch revealed that eligible immigrant families, who have been in the US for less than 5 years and have participated in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, are down by 10% in the first half of this year. The same was observed for immigrant families who have been in the US beyond five years whose participation in the program has declined by 2%. Speaking on this, Bovell-Ammon said people are really scared for their lives according to what has been gathered.
How Much Inference Can Be Made
These findings are still preliminary and might be too much to ascertain a cause and effect situation between these variables. Nevertheless, they happen to be a proof of what advocates and physicians working immigrant families encounter in the field.
David Thomsen, who works with UnidosUS on health policy, said he believes the findings are confirmation of their networks and affiliates have been telling them about the sudden fear that has been discovered in immigrant families including their children concerning getting public benefits.
Things are expected to get even worse when the present administration pushes through new regulations that would restrict migrant families in accessing public funds.
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