New Immigrants' Location Choices: Magnets without Welfare
The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act denied legal noncitizens who arrived in the United States after August 1996 access to means-tested federal benefits for the first 5 years. However, using state funds, a number of states restored some of the benefits. I use this state-level policy variation to study whether newly arrived immigrants make location decisions on the basis of benefit eligibility and generosity. I find that safety-net programs have little effect on the location choices of newly arrived low-skilled unmarried immigrant women.
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