Unauthorized Immigrants' Eligibility for COVID-19 Relief Benefits: In Brief [May 1, 2020] [open pdf - 970KB]
From the Introduction: "Of the 44.4 million foreign-born individuals residing in the United States in 2017, about one-quarter (10.5 million) were estimated to be unauthorized immigrants. Nearly two-thirds of unauthorized immigrants have resided in the United States for over 10 years. The degree to which unauthorized immigrants should be accorded certain rights and privileges as a result of their residence in the United States has long been the subject of congressional interest, which has been heightened amidst the coronavirus pandemic and the congressional response to its impact on the economy. Prior to 1996, there was no uniform rule governing which categories of foreign nationals (i.e., 'aliens' ) residing in the United States were eligible for which government-provided benefits and services. Title IV of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA, P.L. 104-193) established comprehensive restrictions on the eligibility of noncitizens for federal public benefits. These restrictions applied to the majority of non-naturalized (i.e., non-U.S. citizen) foreign-born persons, including lawful permanent residents (also known as 'green card holders'), asylees and refugees, nonimmigrants, and unauthorized immigrants. This report focuses exclusively on the unauthorized population; it outlines their eligibility for federal benefits generally, and for benefits included in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA; P.L. 116-127) and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act; P.L. 116-136) specifically."
CRS Report for Congress, R46339
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/