Immigrants Are Americans Too

1390 Words6 Pages
The 1996 welfare reform, also known as the Personal Responsibility Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA), was enacted to increase the efficiency of the welfare system but its discriminatory nature has resulted in economic hardship, lack of funds to receive food, and poorer health among new immigrants to the United States. One of the main provisions of the PRWORA was that it repealed Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) and replaced it with Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF).Before the enactment of TANF and the appeal of the AFDC, legal immigrants were eligible for the assistance under the same guidelines as citizens. This changed after the welfare reform; the PRWORA and TANF made it more difficult for immigrants to receive any form of social assistance by disallowing them to apply until they have been in the United States for 5 years. This was done to increase the effectiveness of welfare programs and prevent welfare dependency which was at its highest peak when the PRWORA was passed. While this regulation may seem just to some, it has led to economic hardships among immigrants. PRWORA prevents immigrants from participating in welfare-to-work programs, such as CalWORKs, which helps unemployed adults obtain jobs by offering vocational training and adult education. When immigrants enter the United States, they often lack an extensive work history and a good education. Therefore, they tend to have low wage jobs, making them sensitive to the economy as the low earning jobs are the first affected by a receding or booming economy (Kalil and Ziol-Guest 13). Hence, new immigrants to the United States could largely benefit from CalWorks because they would be provided training which would allow them to seek job... ... middle of paper ... ...itizen Eligibility Restrictions, Vulnerable Immigrants, and the Social Service Providers." Journal of Immigrant & Refugee Studies 9.1 (2011): 5-19. Google Scholar. Web. 19 Oct. 2011 Parrott, Sharon and Arloc Sherman. "TANF's Results Are More Mixed than Is Often Understood."Journal of Policy Analysis Management 26.2 (2007): 374-381. JSTOR. Web. 18 Oct. 2011 Shin, Hyejung Janet. "ALL CHILDREN ARE NOT CREATED EQUAL: PRWORA'S UNCONSTITUTIONAL RESTRICTION ON IMMIGRANT CHILDREN'S ACCESS TO FEDERAL HEALTH CARE PROGRAMS." Family Court Review 44.3 (2006): 484-497. Academic Search Complete.EBSCO.Web. 25 Oct. 2011. Van Hook, Jennifer, and Kelly Stamper Balistreri. "Ineligible parents, eligible children: Food Stamps receipt, allotments, and food insecurity among children of immigrants." Social Science Research 35.1 (2006): 228-251. Academic Search Complete.Web. 19 Oct. 2011.
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