Immigrants, Welfare Reform, and the U.S. Safety Net
AbstractBeginning with the 1996 federal welfare reform law many of the central safety net programs in the U.S. eliminated eligibility for legal immigrants, who had been previously eligible on the same terms as citizens. These dramatic cutbacks affected eligibility not only for cash welfare assistance for families with children, but also for food stamps, Medicaid, SCHIP, and SSI. In this paper, we comprehensively examine the status of the U.S. safety net for immigrants and their family members. We document the policy changes that affected immigrant eligibility for these programs and use the CPS for 1995-2010 to analyze trends in program participation, income, and poverty among immigrants (and natives). We pay particular attention to the recent period and examine how immigrants and their children are faring in the “Great Recession” with an eye toward revealing how these policy changes have affected the success of the safety net in protecting this population.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17667.
Date of creation: Dec 2011
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Find related papers by JEL classification:
- I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare and Poverty
- I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
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- Borjas, George J., 2003.
"Welfare reform, labor supply, and health insurance in the immigrant population,"
Journal of Health Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 22(6), pages 933-958, November.
- George J. Borjas, 2003. "Welfare Reform, Labor Supply, and Health Insurance in the Immigrant Population," NBER Working Papers 9781, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Caroline Ratcliffe & Signe-Mary McKernan & Sisi Zhang, 2011. "How Much Does the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Reduce Food Insecurity?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1082-1098.
- Steven J. Haider & Robert F. Schoeni & Yuhua Bao & Caroline Danielson, 2004. "Immigrants, welfare reform, and the economy," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(4), pages 745-764.
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