New York City’s data suggests Immigrant New-Yorkers are avoiding SNAP out of fear of potential immigration consequences

Photos: Isseu Diouf Campbell

The New York City Department of Social Services (DSS), in partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA), hosted a technical briefing on the City’s latest SNAP enrollment data, discussing a recent analysis which shows non-citizen immigrants who are eligible for and lawfully receiving SNAP benefits have either left the SNAP caseload or have decided not to enroll, at a higher rate than U.S. citizens in the program, over the past two years.

While no causal link between the public charge proposal and changes to SNAP participation can be definitively drawn, we identify an important correlation that suggests a chilling effect, reinforced by anecdotal and survey evidence: eligible immigrant families are avoiding SNAP out of fear of potential immigration consequences.