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Immigrants unlikely to move for health care, study finds

Immigrants in Tennessee and throughout the country are unlikely to move around based on what states offer them better health care access. This was one of the findings of researchers at Stanford University, who used data from the American Community Survey to determine that expansion of public health care options was unlikely to lead to an influx of immigrants.

This has been a concern raised by the Trump administration although most Democratic candidates support making health care available to all immigrants whatever their status. The Kaiser Family Foundation reports that citizens are substantially more likely to have health insurance than noncitizens. Along with six other states, Washington, D.C., offers unauthorized immigrant children health care. California has expanded this benefit to unauthorized adults as well.

Immigrants tend to move around more. However, this did not translate to a greater likelihood of moving to states that expanded their health care offerings. This was true even among single mothers with children, the group considered most likely to do so. The study's focus was on low-income women who were pregnant as well as immigrant children. The population examined had recently become lawful permanent residents and were significantly below the poverty line. However, the study did not include undocumented immigrants.

People who are considering becoming permanent residents or who may have other immigration issues, such as seeking asylum, wishing to join family members, trying to get a work visa or wanting to be naturalized, may want to consult an attorney to be sure they understand their rights and what they must do. Immigration law is complex, and the Trump administration has instigated a number of changes. An attorney may be able to advise regarding current law and the next steps a person must take. The attorney may also be able to assist with paperwork and appeals.

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