Immigrant Issues

Our state and our country are defined by the immigrant experience. Most of our ancestors were immigrants who came to the United States to seek a better life, escape persecution, and build thriving communities. New immigrants continue to be a vital part of the Rhode Island community.

The Economic Progress Institute recognizes that immigrants and immigration play a large role in the Ocean State's economy and our future. We believe that broadly shared prosperity means that all Rhode Islanders, regardless of their immigration status, should have equal access to resources and economic opportunities that allow them to achieve their full potential.

This page provides information about resources available to our immigrant neighbors:

and also tracks state and federal threats to equal access to benefits that help immigrant families make ends meet.

Latest

Federal Public Charge Rules Are Final - Fight the Fear

Help ensure that immigrants don’t forego benefits because of fear about the public charge rule

The Administration proposed changes to the public charge provisions of the immigration law in October, 2018. The final rule was issued on August 12, 2019. The Administration finalized the rule despite a showing of overwhelming opposition among the more than 260,000 comments submitted on the proposed rule. While a few changes were made, for example, children under age 21 and pregnant women can still use Medicaid and be exempt from public charge consideration, the final rule adopts most of the proposed changes. Litigation has been filed challenging the rule, requesting that the changes not go into effect while the case is pending.

Because of this rule and a number of other actions taken by the Administration, many families fear applying for the benefits that help them make ends meet – even if receipt of such benefits will have no impact on their right to change immigration status or their ability to become U.S. citizens.

This EPI fact sheet explains the final rule. Additional information is available at Protect Immigrant Families including:

Family Preparedness Plan

If you think you might be detained or deported, making a plan for someone to care for your child can help create stability in their care and allow someone trusted to be in charge of them.

This guide will help you create a plan for your children's care.

For more general information on your rights as an immigrant and how to protect yourself during ICE raids you can read about that here.

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