Many Florida families use some form of public assistance to help with various types of short- or long-term needs. Some parents are currently worried about proposed U.S. immigration law changes and how such may adversely affect their households. One mother recently told her story although she asked that her full name not be given for she feared negative repercussions.
The woman used to have a paid job but had to stop working when her husband had a stroke. Due to his special needs, she had to leave the workforce and stay with him at home to help bathe him and carry out other basic daily living tasks that he could no longer do for himself. The woman’s daughter was receiving Medicaid assistance; however, her membership was recently canceled at the mother’s request. Concerned about possible upcoming changes in U.S. immigration law, the woman says she worries that if her family receives any type of public assistance, it may impede her ability to renew her visa when the time comes. She said her current legal status expires in two years.
The woman removed her daughter’s name from the Medicaid list so she won’t draw attention to her family as a household that uses public assistance. She said she can’t even bear the thought of what might happen to her family if she is denied a visa renewal. Her fears about possible U.S. immigration law changes were prompted by news reports that the current presidential administration plans to target immigrants who use public assistance to make it difficult for them to get visas or other permanent legal statuses. Some government officials have been quoted in saying that such changes would save the federal government a lot of money.
U.S. immigration law officials also say that such changes would not interfere with public assistance given to U.S. citizens whose family members are immigrants. In this particular woman’s situation, both her daughter and husband are U.S. citizens. One immigrant advocate said such changes in the law would prompt many mixed-status families to believe they have to choose between receiving much needed assistance or keeping their family member in the U.S. Anyone in Florida worried about legal status issues can reach out for support from an experienced immigration law attorney.