WASHINGTON – On Friday, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) introduced the Lifting Immigrant Families Through Benefits Access Restoration Act (LIFT the BAR Act). The LIFT the BAR Act removes the five-year bar that restricts lawfully present non-citizens from accessing federal and state public benefits that was imposed by the harsh and archaic restrictions of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996, also known as Welfare Reform. 

Juliet K. Choi, president and CEO of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) issued the following statement:

“We applaud Rep. Jayapal for introducing this critical bill to restore access to Medicaid, CHIP and public benefits to underserved communities, including many Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders. 

“As the global COVID-19 pandemic continues to reach new heights, many families are struggling to afford basic necessities, including rent and groceries, and cannot access the life saving health care they may need. By eliminating the barrier to affordable critical care and social services, the LIFT the BAR Act offers necessary relief to immigrant families. We urge members of Congress to quickly pass the bill.”

APIAHF is a longstanding and proud partner of the Protecting Immigrant Families (PIF) collaborative, and we encourage our community partners to support PIF through education and membership.

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The Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) influences policy, mobilizes communities and strengthens programs and organizations to improve the health of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders.