Immigrants are Americans Too Essay

Immigrants are Americans Too Essay

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Harmful to needy immigrants and their families all across the state, the 1996 welfare reform, also known as the Personal Responsibility Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA), has inadvertently led to economic hardship, lack of funds to receive food, and poorer health.
One of the main provisions of the PRWORA was that it repealed Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) and replaced it with Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF).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, 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. While this regulation may seem just to some, it has led to economic hardships among immigrants.
Because immigrants cannot receive social assistance their first five years in the United States, they cannot participate in welfare-to-work programs. Welfare-to-work programs, such as CalWORKs, helps unemployed adults obtain jobs by offering vocational training and adult education. When immigrants enter the United States, they are most likely to lack a 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 jobs with a higher payroll. But, as stated previously, TANF restricts immigrants’ access to this program which in turn forces immigrants to keep the...


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...en 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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