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Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha puts their dollars to use in Philadelphia's undocumented community. Photo: Carlos Nogueras / AL DÍA NEWS

APM launches pilot program to aid Philly undocumented immigrants

Asociación de Puertorriqueños en Marcha will redirect a funding surge to obtain care for Philly’s undocumented population.

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Editors note: A previous version of this article mentioned a report attributed to The Pew Research Center. The report was conducted by the Pew Charitable Trusts. 

Last week, Asociación de Puertorriqueños en Marcha secured new funding aimed at supporting Philadelphia’s undocumented population to receive Medical Assistance aid through the Department of Human Services (DHS). 

The $184,000 subsidy will be assigned to The Children’s Services Pilot program, and will primarily target low-income communities that earn 133% below the federal poverty guidelines. 

Mental health, drug, and alcohol counseling will be offered along with other ranges of medical services for those who qualify to receive funding via the pilot. The operation hopes to intake 2,000 patients, according to a press release about the pilot.

“We are going to be lenient,” said Manuel Delgado, Chief Operating Officer at APM., while emphasizing the application process will have very few roadblocks. “Our priority is [to] take in these patients and provide them with the help they need,” the statement read. 

Pew Charitable Trusts reported in 2018 that over 54,000 immigrant Philadelphians lived in households earning below the federal poverty line, one of the most prevalent groups along with the Native American population. 

But immigrants face more complex barriers when attempting to receive services through federally-sponsored programs since many don’t meet the basic criteria for eligibility in the application process. 

Immigrant families in Philadelphia contribute tax dollars to the city and state overall, however. In Philadelphia alone, immigrants-led households contributed $2.2 billion in state and local taxes. 

The Pew report also points out that 25% of Philly’s immigrant population, in 2018, was undocumented, disqualifying families from receiving any sort of funding. APM’s criteria, while vague, remain open for those with minimal forms of ID. 

“We will accept almost anything, including any form of ID or utility bill,” Delgado said. 

Those who are looking to make appointments for screening to participate in the pilot can call 1 (267) 296-7200. Prospective applicants can also visit APM’s headquarters at 4301 Rising Sun Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19140.

AL DÍA has reached out to APM for further comment. 

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