Hr 5277 lift the bar act of 2021 edited
HR 5277 Lift the Bar Act of 2021
HR 5277 Lift the Bar Act of 2021
Delineation and Overview Of The Policy Under Analysis
HR 5277 Lift the Bar Act of 2021 is a racial-oriented policy that seeks to address
racial inequality in the United States. Commonly known as the Lifting Immigrant Families
through Benefits Access Restoration Act of 2021, the bill will strive to address racist and
stereotyping laws passed twenty-five years ago. Such laws had negative implications on the
low-income communities and immigrants by exacerbating their already worse living
conditions. The endorsed H.R. 5227, the Lift the Bar Act, will expand nutrition assistance,
health care, and other critical programs which will benefit the low-income communities and
immigrants in the long run.
The Nature of the Problem Being Targeted by the Policy
Low-income communities and immigrants are currently facing challenges accessing
essential programs courtesy of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act
enacted in 1996. Spencer and Diller (2005) noted that Public Law 104–193, or PRWORA
reduced federal welfare spending by reorganizing and eliminating food/cash welfare
programs. The Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) replaced Title IV-A of the Social
Security Act, encouraging two-parent families, reducing out-of-marriage pregnancy, and
subsidizing child nutrition and care. However, the PRWORA law introduced a limitation that
became problematic in eventuality. The beneficiaries were required to wait for five years to
receive the cash.
Contextualizing the Policy
The HR 5277 Lift the Bar Act of 2021 comparatively aligns with other critical federal
assistance programs which have the eligibility standards related to the Affordable Care Act.
The policy enables lawfully present and legal immigrants to access various federal programs
without waiting periods or discriminatory bars. It will ensure that individuals benefiting from
the Affordable Care Act health insurance will continue accessing affordable coverage despite
becoming ineligible for health care programs like Medicaid.
Low-income communities and immigrants are bound to benefit from the impacts of
this policy. The social provisions under the HR 5277 Lift the Bar Act of 2021 are universal
because they will ensure everyone has access to the federal assistance programs. The eligible
persons will benefit through an in-kind delivery strategy via various programs like housing
and health care. Different financing methods will be used to achieve the requirements of this
policy. For instance, state and local funds will be used to expand CHIP and Medicaid
eligibility for immigrants.
Policies and Programs
There are various policies and programs developed to deal with the problem of access
to housing, healthcare, and other federal programs among low-income communities and
immigrants. They include the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Obamacare, the Low-Income
Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program, Shelter Plus Care, Social Security Act, and
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), among others. Affordable Care Act
(ACA) was designed and implemented as a comprehensive care reform law to ensure
affordability of health insurance, expand the Medicaid program, and support innovative
medical care delivery strategies to ensure that low-income households have access to
healthcare in the United States.
Development of the HR 5277 Lift the Bar Act of 2021
HR 5277 Lift the Bar Act of 2021 was endorsed by the APA Services led by
Representatives Tony Cárdenas (D-CA) and Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) on 10th September
2021 (Gastelum, 2021). Currently, the policy seems to have no opposing force. Every
relevant person is putting more effort into ensuring that discriminatory exclusions and
barriers impacting millions of immigrants are addressed amicably.
History holds that reliance on ineffective approaches to the problems being addressed
herein has created inequality, discrimination, and poverty among low-income communities
and immigrants. PRWORA was in itself an ineffective approach towards countering
discrimination and enhancing equality (Haskins, 2007). It instigated and perpetuated racism
and discrimination against the immigrants in America. Historical forms of prejudice became
prevalent as they combined with social inequality, racism, income differences, xenophobia,
and the triggering of hateful messages (Legel, 2017). The 1996 welfare reform, as expounded
by Ku, and Jewers (2013), created legal restrictions which foresaw socioeconomic
inequalities among low-income immigrants and poor native-born citizens. Immigrants and
low-income households could not access children’s health insurance programs and Medicaid.
They are less likely to get job-based insurance because they often engage in low insurance
coverage sectors like food service, construction, and agriculture. The implications of the
PRWORA seem to align with that of the Jim Crow laws. They are both ineffective legal
measures used to address perceptual, social problems.
The Role of the Current Policy/Program
The current policy extensively incorporates the lessons of history by eradicating
eligibility restrictions, redefining the term ‘qualified noncitizens,’ integrating the standards of
the Affordable Care Act, ensuring access to health care, and conforming amendments. The
HR 5277 Lift the Bar Act of 2021 eliminates eligibility restrictions provided by the
PRWORA law to ensure that immigrants are no longer discriminated against when accessing
state and federal public benefits.
Are We Repeating Misstates of the Past?
No! We are not repeating past mistakes because the HR 5277 Lift the Bar Act of 2021
seeks to address the problems created by PRWORA law by protecting immigrant families.
The policy will address established limitations on the provision of welfare benefits which
were problematic to the disabled children with age-inappropriate behavior, families who have
been on the welfare for more than five years, drugs addicts and alcoholics, and most
noncitizens (Allard, 2008). Ideally, the HR 5277 Lift the Bar Act of 2021 is to resolve those
archaic and harsh restrictions of this welfare reform, which negatively impacted immigrants
and low-income households.
Immigrants are increasingly becoming a critical component and a driving force of the
U.S. workforce. Despite their considerable and corrigible work effort, immigrants and lowincome families continue to experience financial insecurity, substantial hardships, and
difficulties in economic advancement. Ethnic and racial minorities, according to Rawlings,
Capps, Gentsch, and Fortuny (2007), continue to experience challenges like job
discrimination, constrained residential choice, and poor quality schooling. Immigrants are
often subjected to discrimination, limited English proficiency (language barrier), and lack of
citizenship status. The existence of complex and systemic historical inequalities between the
blacks and the native whites has made problems facing ethnic minorities and immigrants
more pernicious and pervasive.
Efforts to Deal with the Problem and Research Findings
Efforts to deal with the problem seem to align with research findings—a study
conducted by OECD. (2020) concluded that immigrants are highly vulnerable to
vulnerabilities like overcrowded housing conditions, increased risk of COVID-19 infection,
and poverty. Immigrants and their children were more susceptible to the implications of the
coronavirus pandemic compared to the natives (Bayor, 2020). To help in mitigating the
vulnerabilities, different policy briefs have been implemented targeting education, poverty
reduction, residential integration, employment & earning occupations, language, and health
(National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, & Committee on Population,
The Population Affected By the Problem
The population affected by this problem includes individuals with Deferred Action for
Childhood Arrivals (DACA), millions of legal immigrants, and persons with temporary
protected status (TPS). Those individuals have been rendered ineligible for federal assistance
programs like nutrition assistance, housing, and Medicaid, enabling them to live a more
productive and healthier life.
Theories of Human Behavior
HR 5277 Lift the Bar Act of 2021 seems to be based on Ecological theory, behavioral
theory, and humanism. The ecological approach is based on community psychology, where
interrelations among local events, people, organizations, problems, resources, and roles are
considered essential. Ettekal and Mahoney (2017) remarked that ecological systems theory
treats issues impacting children as part of the larger systems comprising relationships that
create a particular environment.
Social values of immigrants and low-income communities include
Goals of the Policy
Manifest (Stated) Goals
To ensure that lawfully present immigrants are eligible to various federal programs.
To eradicate the five-year waiting period for the immigrants to obtain certain benefits.
To ensure that immigrants are not denied access to basic needs and health-related
To cushion immigrants against the implications of the COVOD-19 pandemic.
Latent (Unstated) Goals
To prohibit discrimination against immigrants.
To integrate immigrants and low-income communities into the U.S. assistance
To ascertain the rights of every person are achieved in the long run.
The Degree of Consensus Regarding Goals
The input from government agencies, learning institutions, nonprofits, and private
individuals will ensure a degree of consensus regarding the goals. The decisions of different
entities and lawmakers will ensure the newly formed policy is effective.
The HR 5277 Lift the Bar Act of 2021 will oversee improved access to housing,
healthcare, and other benefits of federal programs among immigrants and low-income
Effects and Potential Effects of the Policy on the Economy
HR 5277 Lift the Bar Act of 2021 will enhance the functioning of the economy as a
whole-output, creating a wave of ingenuity and talent. Kerr (2020) argued that talent is a
critical resource in the contemporary knowledge-intensive economy. Immigrants provide a
great pool of talent which influences the strength of the economy, the social fabric of the
society, and the competitiveness of companies (Peri, & Zaiour, 2021). Tapping into the
employment-based migration will ensure that U.S.-based companies can compete in the
global market effectively. Immigrants are responsible for 25% of entrepreneurship and
innovation in the United States (Kerr, 2020). Immigrants contribute disproportionately to the
STEM fields because they have higher educational attainment. Immigrants are increasingly
filling a critical niche in the American labor market. Economic tumult and demographic
changes caused by the immigrant population have changed poverty’s nature within the U.S.
metropolitan areas. Suburban governments, private funders, and nonprofit organizations have
been prompted to stretch their budgets to meet the needs of immigrants and the poor
Effects and Potential Effects of the Policy on behavior
Immigration-related stressors that increase the risk of self-harm and suicidal ideation
will decrease significantly over time due to the effects of the HR 5277 Lift the Bar Act of
2021. The policy will effectively eradicate social marginalization, intergenerational conflicts,
and cultural stress. The ability to access quality health care, lower rates of health insurance,
and food assistance, just like the U.S.-born population, will affect the immigrant positively by
changing their attitudes and working hard to improve their living standards. Firms will be
prompted to redefine their policies to ensure that they align with the provisions of the HR
5277 Lift the Bar Act of 2021. Markets will change dramatically due to increased motivation
to supply commodities among firms and decreased cost of the rent.
A cost-benefit analysis of the HR 5277 Lift the Bar Act of 2021 illustrates that the
policy will attract the following benefits worth billions of U.S. Dollars;
Valuation of the number of years gained because of the increased employment rate
Averted direct medical costs, and,
Valuation of the quality of life and its improvement thereof due to access to various
Primary Stakeholders and Legitimization
Primary stakeholders for this policy include the House Financial Services Committee
comprising the House Judiciary, House Education & Labor, House Agriculture, House
Energy & Commerce, and House Financial Services. There are cosponsors such as Tony
Cárdenas and Pramila Jayapal. Those stakeholders form the power base of supporters and
opponents of the HR 5277 Lift the Bar Act of 2021 policy. The intended beneficiaries of the
HR 5277 Lift the Bar Act are equally represented in the ongoing development and
implementation of the policy. For instance, Tony Cárdenas was raised by hardworking
immigrant parents from Mexico. Tony Cárdenas has been instrumental in addressing the
issue affecting immigrants. For example, the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 will restore
humanity and fairness through its efforts, especially in the U.S. immigration system. Tony
Cárdenas has been putting the community first by fighting for equal opportunities and rights,
reforming the juvenile system, supporting juvenile justice, and enacting the HR 5277 Lift the
Bar Act. Pramila Jayapal is an Indian-American woman who has contributed extensively to
immigration reforms such as the Roadmap to Freedom Resolution and Deferred Action for
Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program (Bruno, 2017). This can be used as a basis for the
legitimation of this policy.
Rational Decision Making, Incremental Change, and Change Brought By Conflict
The Bar Act’s HR 5277 Lift is based on a comprehensive rational decision-making
process anchored on objectivity, analysis, and logic. Bhui, Lai, and Gershman (2021) argued
that rational decision-making is customarily applied to leverage objective data, intuition and
analyze the problem objectively to create a viable solution. The policy derives from the
LIHTC program, which sought to create affordable housing aligned with the 1986 Tax
Reforms Act. The goal of the 1986 Tax Reforms Act is to rehabilitate, acquire, or construct
new rental houses for low-income households. It further aligns with Shelter Plus Care which
provides rental assistance to individuals who have been rendered homeless due to their
disabilities. Initially known as the Food Stamp Program, the Supplemental Nutrition
Assistance Program (SNAP) provides food-purchasing assistance or subsidies to the noincome or low-income individuals.
Incremental change has been reflected in the elements of the HR 5277 Lift the Bar
Act. According to Roggema (2014), incremental change is a concept used to refer to the
organizations and programs that develop over time by making subtle alterations or changing
components of specific programs. HR 5277 Lift, the Bar Act, attempts to change the Personal
Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act. As per the proposed changes, the qualified
immigrants will no longer wait for five years to benefit from federal programs like
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Supplemental Security Income (SSI),
Medicaid, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).
Political Aspects of the Implementation of the Policy
The implementation of this policy is bound to be influenced by political aspects such
as democracy, availability of civil society, and centrality of the national government.
Eligibility for Temporary Protected Status (TPS), undocumented, and Deferred Action for
Childhood Arrivals (DACA) will be redefined based on such political aspects. The purpose is
to ensure their access to federal healthcare, nutrition, housing, and income support programs.
The outcomes of the policy concerning the stated goals include;
Reunified family. Family unification indirectly facilitated by the policy will permit
immigration of brothers, sisters, spouses, and parents, which eventually strengthens
the social fabric of America.
Admission of refugees into the U.S. System. Admitting refugees in the U.S. serves
as a symbolic reaffirmation of the much sought national identity. The U.S. has been at
the forefront of endorsing freedom, confidence in change, choice, and growth
Fulfilled labor force needs. More workers will be legally absorbed into the U.S.
economy. The resultant effect includes expansion of talent and increased innovation.
The democratic and political transformation of the United States.
Like any other immigration-oriented policy, the HR 5277 Lift the Bar Act is bound to
attract unintended consequences. Czaika and De Haas (2013) noted that the objectives of
immigrant policies could overlap in a situation where immigrants from a certain national
belong to a particular ethnic, religion, or income group. The goal of the approach might
therefore be difficult to achieve. Accommodating as many immigrants as possible might lead
to extra pressure on social amenities, issues of overcrowding, and increased congestion
(Fetzer, 2016). The policy is cost-effective based on the benefits which will be accrued in the
long run. The immigrants will assist in growing the economy by paying taxes, filling labor
needs, and purchasing goods. There is a direct correlation between productivity and the
availability of a relevant workforce. The ACT attempts to cause a massive overhaul to the
immigration system to strengthen families, create a framework for citizenship, restore
fairness, boost the economy, and bolster national security.
Current Proposals for Reform and Conclusion
The immigration debate has been a source of controversy attracting diverse arguments
in America. Proponents of immigration such as Pramila Jayapal believe that the current
proposals for reforms such as the HR 5277 Lift the Bar Act will be critical in addressing
contemporary issues affecting the immigrants in America. Hundreds of individuals with
lawful permanent resident status and other immigrants are typically subjected to a mandatory
five-year waiting period to access federal benefits. Radford and Noe-Bustamante (2019)
argued that approximately 44.8 million immigrants resided in the United States in 2018. Such
a population size accounts for about 13.7% of the total U.S. population. Immigrants are
characterized based on the region they come from and ethnicity. Immigrants from Mexico top
the list with 25%, while immigrants from EL-Salvador are the least with 3% population.
Others include immigrants from China, India, and the Philippines, with 6%, 6%, and 4%
population share (Budiman, 2020). A cost-benefit analysis enhances the situation by
accentuating the essence of the Lift the Bar Act.
Immigrants and low-income communities need mutual respect to exalt and accentuate
humanity while accommodating different cultural and ethnic differences. Social justice
enhances equity and fairness in society, while social responsibility promotes accountability as
a civic duty. Maslow’s humanistic theory expounds on the nature of humanisms and how
individuals attain self-actualization. From the humanistic perspective, persons need to resolve
health, shelter, safety, and employment issues, which HR 5277 Lift the Bar Act of 2021 seeks
to address. The need to enact the HR 5277 Lift the Bar Act was influenced by the desire to
address the change brought about by conflict caused by how immigrants are treated in the
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