Published Date: March 01, 2023

Summary: Although exclusionary immigration policies are associated with fear of deportation and avoidance of public benefits, relationships between immigration enforcement policy and public charge policies are largely unknown. Using a California population-based survey of 1,103 Asian and Latinx immigrants in 2018, authors tested the relationship between immigrants' experiences with law enforcement and their concern about public charge.

Findings: Direct encounters with various forms of law enforcement, including being asked to show proof of citizenship by law enforcement, staying inside to avoid police or immigration officials, and having known someone who had been deported, were associated with immigrants' avoidance of public benefits due to public charge concerns.

Latinx immigrants were more likely to be concerned about public charge than Asians. Intersections among immigration policies deserve further consideration. There is a need to provide accurate and reliable information to immigrant communities about public benefits and advocate for inclusive immigration policies.

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