scispace - formally typeset

Journal ArticleDOI

Immigrant Social Policy in the American States: Race Politics and State TANF and Medicaid Eligibility Rules for Legal Permanent Residents

01 Mar 2013-State Politics & Policy Quarterly (SAGE Publications)-Vol. 13, Iss: 1, pp 26-48

AbstractThis article examines differences in the drivers of state Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Medicaid immigrant eligibility policies, determined in the wake of the 1996 Welfare Reform. The findings show that differences in the incentive structures of the two programs may affect the way race politics influence each. Specifically, race is a strong negative correlate for TANF inclusion of immigrants as states with large African American populations were more likely to exclude legal permanent residents from the program. In the case of Medicaid, the size of the immigrant population is a strong positive correlate for inclusion. The effect of the size of the black population, although negative, is small and not significant. The study confirms extant research findings that ideological factors play an important role in the formation of both policies.

Topics: Medicaid (56%), Population (53%), Welfare reform (52%), Welfare (51%)

Summary (3 min read)

Introduction

  • Since the formation of the United States, race politics has been at the heart of both immigration and social welfare policies at the federal and the state levels.
  • 1996) , states in fact produced varied responses: some states chose to incorporate almost all LPRs into their public benefits and healthcare programs; other states were far more selective and restrictive in terms of eligibility and inclusion.
  • This is a major omission because, as will be discussed, not only does the incentive structure for state governments differ by program, but the two policy areas are politicized and racialized very differently in the public discourse.

II. PRWORA and the Devolution of Immigrant Social Policy

  • The Welfare Act represented a substantial shift in American welfare and immigration federalism and a rather unique quasi-experiment for American politics.
  • PRWORA dismantled the AFDC entitlement program, and replaced it with the TANF block grant.
  • With PRWORA, welfare reform and devolution was tied to immigration reform and devolution.
  • According to PRWORA, states could choose to include or exclude from TANF and/or Medicaid any or all of the three groups of immigrants that the law created.
  • If states chose to incorporate immigrants in their programs, Washington matched funds only for pre-enactment immigrants and those who had been in LPR status for more than five years.

III. Immigration, Social Policy and the Politics of Race

  • Both immigration and social welfare policies have been theorized as the result of Americans' understandings and evaluations of social and racial categories.
  • Racial classifications and their associated tropes have led to racially-based assumptions of who deserves access to privileges and who does not.
  • The nexus between immigration, welfare and race is multidimensional.
  • Concerns over welfare, or the likelihood that an immigrant may become a "public charge," serve as the basis for exclusion from immigration to the U.S as well as a limitation for naturalization.
  • At the same time, since PRWORA, immigration status serves as the basis for exclusion from welfare programs.

a. Race and Immigration Policy

  • Alone among areas of law, immigration policy is not subject to the same strict scrutiny that the Supreme Court has applied to cases involving race and minorities (Neuman, 1996; Chin, 1998) .
  • Most notably, such policies precluded the arrival of specific undesirables who threatened to disturb the racial and ethnic distribution of the American population and unsettle the system of privilege constructed around whiteness (Zolberg, 2006; Haney Lopez, 2006; Daniels, 2004; Ngai, 2004; Tichenor, 2002; King, 2002) .
  • In the 1930s states and localities used public benefits as a guise in the "repatriation" of more than half a million Mexican immigrants and Mexican-Americans.
  • The federal government can and does continue to use race as a factor in its immigration policy decision-making (Chin, 1998) .
  • In general, public charge exclusions, which tie directly to the fear that immigrants will become "dependent" on the American welfare system, have had a disproportionate impact on minority applicants for permanent residence (Johnson, 1998) .

b. Race and Social Welfare Policy for Immigrants

  • Many have posited that the presence of large numbers of racial and ethnic minorities among welfare beneficiaries has led those in the dominant white group to object to social programs on the basis that they are racially driven and preferential in nature (Soss, Schram, Vartanian and O'Brien, 2003; Hero and Tolbert, 1996; Taylor, 1998) .
  • Recent findings on immigration indicate that the growth of immigration when combined with a salient national discourse that depicts immigrants as a threat can lead to the introduction of restrictive legislation at the local level (Hopkins, 2010).
  • A number of studies have documented social and political conflict between blacks and Latinos (Bobo and Masagli, 2001; Vaca, 2004) .
  • On the other hand, Hero and Preuhs (2007) found no statistically significant relationship between the overall size of the Latino, immigrant, or black population and eligibility rules.

c. Race and Healthcare Policy for Immigrants: Does the Majority/Minority Conflict Hypothesis Apply?

  • Access to health services, health insurance and resultant health outcomes are all correlated with race.
  • Studies of health insurance coverage show the existence of significant racial differences between whites and blacks going back to the 1950s and persisting to the current time (Olson, 2010; Thomasson, 2006) .
  • Over the next two decades, the scope of Medicaid was expanded to include a variety of non-AFDC eligible low-income populations.
  • The immediate result of PRWORA was a substantial decline in the rates of public health insurance coverage among immigrants either because of ineligibility or out of fear and misinformation (Kandula et.al., 2004; Hagan et.al., 2003) .
  • Furthermore, healthcare policy in recent decades has tended to be framed around issues of cost, access and public health rather than "deservedness" (Vilardich, 2009) .

IV. Data and Methods

  • As explained in section II, the federal government created three new categories of LPRs through PRWORA and enabled states to determine which of these groups, if any, they wish to include in their TANF and Medicaid programs.
  • I also tested interaction terms for these variables with each other and with public opinion liberalism.
  • The population data were derived from U.S. Census sources.
  • These are Erickson, Wright and McIver's (1993) measure of public opinion liberalism, and Rom, Peterson and Scheve's (1999) measure of Democratic party control updated to include data from 1996-1997.
  • Also included are two lagged measures of the state's economic conditions, unemployment and percent of population under poverty.

[TABLE 2-HERE]

  • Table 3 presents the results of the multivariate regressions for TANF and for Medicaid immigrant inclusion.
  • The standard errors for each terms is included in parentheses below the relevant coefficient.

[TABLE3 -HERE]

  • It can be seen that the two models resolve very different proportions of variance.
  • In both models, the liberalism variable is a strong correlate (standardized b=0.375 for the TANF model; β=0.500 for the Medicaid model) and significant at the p < 0.01 level.
  • There are, however some differences between the two models: the percentage of African American population is a negative correlate in the TANF model and a positive (but not significant) in the Medicaid model.
  • I will discuss these findings in detail in the following Section.

V. Discussion

  • As expected given earlier research findings, estimates indicate that public opinion liberalism played a similar and significant role in the development of the immigrant eligibility rules for both programs, a finding consistent with previous research in immigration policy and in state politics writ large (Graefe, et.al., 2008; Hero and Preuhs, 2007; Erikson, Wright and McIver, 1993) .
  • This hypothesis posits that in states where blacks had some political power compared to immigrants and Latinos, black legislators may have supported immigrant welfare exclusion in order to maintain a larger portion of a rapidly shrinking pie for their constituents.
  • States with a lower percentage of the population under poverty were more likely to include immigrants in their TANF programs than were states with a higher percentage of the population under the poverty line.
  • The federal requirement that all noncitizens have a right to emergency healthcare meant that exclusion from Medicaid could lead more immigrants to the emergency room (ER).

VI. Conclusion

  • Racial factors have played important roles in the shaping of public policy towards vulnerable minority populations, but the centrality of racial considerations differs by policy area.
  • The story of immigrant eligibility for TANF and Medicaid shows that the debate over welfare/TANF policy in the 1990s was more racialized along the traditional black/white divide.
  • Traditionally, the discourse over healthcare has focused on cost and public health issues with a lesser emphasis on deservedness.
  • By contrast, welfare policy has never enjoyed the support of such powerful and wellorganized constituencies.
  • The focus here is with LPRs in the context of TANF and Medicaid.

Did you find this useful? Give us your feedback

...read more

Content maybe subject to copyright    Report

Citations
More filters

Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: Governing through Crime in South AfricaWarum Nationen scheiternGoverning Immigration Through CrimeMafia-LebenScaleDer VorsorgestaatHandbuch JugendkriminalitätThe Crime ConundrumDie SicherheitsgesellschaftDurchbrüche ins Soziale eine Festschrift für Rudolph BauerKriminalitätskontrolle als IndustrieStrafanstalt als BesserungsmaschineDie Vielfalt des RegierensThe Social Sustainability of CitiesGoverning through Crime in South AfricaSurveillance and GovernanceGoverning Through CrimeOrganized crimeDemocratic Theory and Mass IncarcerationCheliax Imperium der Teufel11-SepDefinition und Grenzen der Vorverlagerung von StrafbarkeitMass Incarceration on TrialAlternative CriminologiesGoverning Through Crime : How the War on Crime Transformed American Democracy and Created a Culture of FearCriminal Justice Theory, Volume 26Governing through crime?Laws against strikes. The South African Experience in an international and Comparative PerspectiveIntroduction to critical criminologyGoverning Through Crime in the Northern Territory: Are Criminal Justice System Changes Contributing to Rising Indigenous Imprisonment?After the War on CrimeGoverning Through CrimeInterdisziplinäre RechtsforschungDer CSI-Effekt in DeutschlandThe Contested Politics of MobilityGoverning through Globalised CrimeNeue Theorien des RechtsGoverning Through Globalised CrimeCriminological PerspectivesThe Legal Process and the Promise of Justice

694 citations


Journal Article
TL;DR: Leslie Hearnshaw responds strongly to those he sees as jeopardizing an ancient humanist project of psychological knowledge: over-specialized professional psychologists, historians indifferent to present scientific psychology, and critics of the whole progressivist enterprise.
Abstract: It is not uncommon for emeritus professors to take a more reflective view of their discipline, or even for them to grapple with the significance of their specialist knowledge for perennial human questions. Leslie Hearnshaw, for many years Professor of Psychology at Liverpool, is better equipped than many for this role, having already written a history of British psychology and the standard biography of Cyril Burt. In this book, he responds strongly to those he sees as jeopardizing an ancient humanist project of psychological knowledge: over-specialized professional psychologists, historians indifferent to present scientific psychology, and critics of the whole progressivist enterprise. The result is an extraordinarily wide-ranging study-very definitely a conscious act of unification-to portray \"psychology\" as a coherent and progressive endeavour, whatever its problematic qualities as science. His story begins with the animism of early cultures, and it runs through the Greeks to the Scientific Revolution, the Enlightenment, and the grounding of modern psychology in biology, philosophy, and the German universities in the nineteenth century. There is a separate chapter on \"medical influences\", arguing that it is only with the generation ofJames and Ribot that there is any significant medical psychology. He also attempts to do justice to \"the social dimension\"; and few other histories of psychology have had the breadth to assimilate Marx or Parsons. With the twentieth century, Hearnshaw stresses clearly the \"shaping\" power of the occupational organization and application of psychology, as well as the theoretical and methodological issues which usually dominate such general accounts. In the final chapters, he shows that recent psychology has not been so specialized that it has avoided shaping by philosophical critiques, and he then boldly reviews \"the state of the art\", focusing on the neurosciences and the \"cognitive revolution\". In conclusion, he ventures his own candidate for a unifying \"metapsychology\", based on William Stern's \"personalism\". This is an extraordinary journey, and niggles about detail are out of place, though some passing judgments make one blench. Ultimately, I feel, the book is a declaration of faith. Certainly, it does not engage with the deep difficulties, philosophical and historical, of the enterprise; the key values of continuity, progress, and the striving intellect give the book its form and are not themselves the subject of reflection. As a result the material up till the twentieth century is much less interesting (and in my view less defensible) than what follows, since it becomes a …

319 citations



Book ChapterDOI
01 Jan 1897
Abstract: This is an attractive little volume of two hundred and twenty-six pages, neatly bound and printed upon excellent paper with wide margins and clear type. It is a literary mosaic made up of twenty-five editorials appearing in The Survey in 1907 and 1908. These more or less disconnected bits of expression upon social phenomena in general are put together with so much skill and delicacy of workmanship that they present a symmetrical and well-balanced whole. That which gives them unity and continuity is the large sociological experience and economic grasp of the writer. This appears, for example, in the constantly reiterated principles, that charities should deal primarily with social causes, and that relief should not only be preventive of pauperism but should

143 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A range of policies and practices that could reduce the developmental harm to children, youth, and their families stemming from this status are summarized.
Abstract: In the United States, 5.3 million children and adolescents are growing up either with unauthorized status or with at least one parent who has that status. Until recently, little in the way of research has informed federal, state, and local policy debates related to unauthorized status (e.g., border enforcement, deportation, and a pathway to citizenship) although these issues have important implications for youth development. This statement is a brief summary of the research evidence on multiple domains of development that may be affected by the child or parent's unauthorized status. We also describe the contextual and psychological mechanisms that may link this status to developmental outcomes. We summarize a range of policies and practices that could reduce the developmental harm to children, youth, and their families stemming from this status. Finally, we conclude with recommendations for policy, practice, and research that are based on the evidence reviewed.

92 citations


Cites background from "Immigrant Social Policy in the Amer..."

  • ...Researchers have begun to merge state-level policy databases (e.g., depicting variation in local enforcement practices) with individual-level databases to estimate the effects of variation in state enforcement or other policies on population-level outcomes (e.g., Filindra, 2013)....

    [...]


References
More filters

Journal ArticleDOI
01 Apr 1958
Abstract: In this paper I am proposing an approach to the study of race prejudice different from that which dominates contemporary scholarly thought on this topic. My thesis is that race prejudice exists basically in a sense of group position rather than in a set of feelings which members of one racial group have toward the members of another racial group. This different way of viewing race prejudice shifts study and analysis from a preoccupation with feelings as lodged in individuals to a concern with the relationship of racial groups. It also shifts scholarly treatment away from individual lines of experience and focuses interest on the collective process by which a racial group comes to define and redefine another racial group. Such shifts, I believe, will yield a more realistic and penetrating understanding of race prejudice.

2,425 citations


Book
01 Sep 1984
Abstract: More than thirty years after its original publication, V. O. Key's classic remains the most influential book on its subject. Its author, one of the nation's most astute observers, drew on more than five hundred interviews with Southerners to illuminate the political process in the South and in the nation.Key's book explains party alignments within states, internal factional competition, and the influence of the South upon Washington. It also probes the nature of the electorate, voting restrictions, and political operating procedures. This reprint of the original edition includes a new introduction by Alexander Heard and a profile of the author by William C. Havard. "A monumental accomplishment in the field of political investigation." Hodding Carter, New York Times "The raw truth of southern political behavior." C. Vann Woodward, Yale Review "[This book] should be on the 'must' list of any student of American politics." Ralph J. Bunche V.O. Key (1908-1963) taught political science at the University of California, Los Angeles, and at Johns Hopkins, Yale, and Harvard universities. He was president of the American Political Science Association and author of numerous books, including American State Politics: An Introduction (1956); Public Opinion and American Democracy (1961); and The Responsible Electorate (1966)."

2,129 citations



Book
01 Jan 1973

1,856 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: Drawing on surveys of public attitudes and analyses of more than 40 years of television and newsmagazine stories on poverty, this book demonstrates how public opposition to welfare is fed by a potent combination of racial stereotypes and misinformation about the true nature of America's poor. But the answer isn't simply that white Americans oppose welfare because they think it benefits blacks; rather, they think it benefits \"undeserving\" blacks who would rather live off the government than work, a perception powerfully fuelled by the media's negative coverage of the black poor. Martin Gilens not only examines public opinion and public policy; he also explores the historical context that shaped these attitudes and the role the news media have played in \"racializing\" poverty and poverty programmes. The public's views on welfare, Gilens shows, are a complex mixture of cynicism and compassion; misinformed and racially charged, they nevertheless reflect both a distrust of welfare recipients and a desire to do more to help the deserving poor.

1,264 citations