The 2021 Legislative Session in Washington State passed a number of new bills and programs on behalf of immigrants. While these are steps in the right direction, there is still more work to be done. Please see below for more information:
- Washington Immigrant Relief Fund (WIRF) – The WIRF received an enormous boost from the state Legislature and Governor this past session, an additional $340 million in addition to its previous $127 million allocated. This fund is set aside to provide payments to immigrants shut out of other forms of pandemic relief, such as stimulus checks and unemployment insurance, because of their undocumented status. Please stay tuned to immigrantreliefwa.org for more information about this program.
- $35 million was appropriated in grant funding for one-time grants to providers who provide health care services to uninsured and underinsured patients, regardless of immigration status. The Health Benefit Exchange (HBE) has also been directed to explore opportunities to facilitate the enrollment of people excluded from Medicaid or federal programs to a state health program by the year 2024. One option includes the HBE to develop and submit an application for a federal waiver, which could potentially allow undocumented folks to purchase options from the Exchange.
- Post-partum care to 12 months – SB5068 was passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor expanding Apple Health coverage to 12 months postpartum to ensure continuity of care and coverage. This is an extension of time from its original 60 days of coverage for all women who meet the income qualifications, regardless of citizenship or immigration status.
- Banning Private Prisons – HB 1090 was passed by the legislature and signed by the Governor ending all private prisons in WA State. This includes the contract for the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma used to hold captured, undocumented people whose contract expires in 2025 and cannot be renewed.
See One America 2021 Legislative Wins page for additional information.
Reviewed on 6/21/2021