Senior Policy Analyst
Valerie Lacarte is a Senior Policy Analyst with MPI’s Human Services Initiative, where she contributes to research design and methodology, and conducts data analysis on access to public benefits for the most vulnerable immigrants, including refugees, asylum seekers, mixed-status families, and unauthorized individuals.
Prior to joining MPI, Dr. Lacarte was a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research where she conducted empirical analysis on women’s economic security, including the gender wage gap, paid family leave, entrepreneurship, and public-health expenditures. Previously, she worked at the Organization of American States and the Inter-American Development Bank, where she gained expertise on regional integration and international trade.
Dr. Lacarte earned a BA in economics from Université du Québec à Montréal, an MA in economics from Université de Montréal, and a PhD in economics from American University. For her dissertation, she used a mixed-methods approach to study the integration of Caribbean immigrants into the U.S. labor market, and the intersectionality of race, ethnicity, and cultural gender norms.
Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program help many children in low-income families access health care. But under federal rules, hundreds of thousands of children are ineligible due to immigration status. This brief presents U.S. and state-level estimates of immigrant children who are eligible for and participate in these programs and considers the impact of state policies that expand access to public health insurance.
Since the pandemic began, technology has become an even more central part of Americans’ lives. Yet access to digital devices, the internet, and digital skills training has long been uneven. For many teenagers in immigrant families, including those who are English Learners, this digital divide has made remote learning challenging. This study identifies promising practices for increasing digital access and literacy among immigrant-origin youth.
The 4.3 million Black immigrants in the United States come largely from the Caribbean and sub-Saharan Africa. This article offers insights about rates of poverty, health insurance, and other metrics for Black immigrants both nationally and in the top five major cities of residence, finding that policies at federal and local levels, as well as the legacy of historical Black disenfranchisement, can exaggerate or reduce some of the gaps with U.S.-born White residents.
Medicaid has seen a surge in enrollment since the pandemic began, as millions of U.S. workers lost jobs and health coverage. But many noncitizens are ineligible for Medicaid due to their status as recent recipients of green cards, international students, or temporary workers, for example. This issue brief examines the size and characteristics of this population, including state-to-state differences in eligibility and participation.