Immigrant Issues

Our state and our country is 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.

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

Latest News

Changes to “Public Charge” Rules Threaten Immigrant Families

The Trump administration will soon be promulgating regulations that replace long-standing policy about the meaning and application of the ‘public charge’ provisions of the immigration law. 

The rule, if enacted, would threaten some immigrants access to Medicaid, SNAP and housing assistance as well as have a chilling effect on all immigrants access to benefits.

You can join the national effort against the rule by signing this letter in opposition to the proposal. It’s also important to know the rule would not impact many categories of immigrants:  refugees, asylees, self-petitioners under VAWA and others.  Also – public charge is not applied when Lawful Permanent Residents (green-card holders) apply for citizenship. Read the EPI fact sheet here. Additional information is available from national partners:

Over 1,000 organizations around the country have signed on to the letter objecting to the proposed public charge rule. Twenty-eight RI agencies including immigrant-rights, health care, food and other basic needs groups have signed on so far:

  • Alliance of Rhode Island Southeast Asians for Education
  • Alliance to Mobilize Our Resistance - AMOR
  • Alpert Medical School Immigrant Rights Coalition
  • Center for Southeast Asians
  • College Visions
  • Direct Action for Rights & Equality
  • Dorcas International Institute of RI
  • Jonnycake Center of Peace Dale
  • Olneyville Neighborhood Association (ONA)
  • Pro Bono Collaborative at RWU Law
  • Progreso Latino
  • Protect Our Healthcare Coalition RI
  • Providence Student Union
  • R.I. Center for Justice
  • Refugee Dream Center
  • Rhode Island Association of Community Action Agencies
  • Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence
  • Rhode Island Coalition for Children and Families
  • Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless
  • Rhode Island Immigrant Coalition
  • Rhode Island KIDS COUNT
  • Rhode Island Parent Information Network
  • RI Jobs with Justice
  • Roger Williams University Immigration Clinic
  • Sojourner House
  • The Economic Progress Institute
  • The Learning Community
  • URI Feinstein Center for a Hunger Free America
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