The Rise of Legal Status Restrictions in American Social Welfare Policy

March 28, 2019 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm


Columbia School of Social Work, Room C03: 1255 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10027

Event Organizer

Columbia Population Research Center

Sponsored by the Columbia Population Research Center (CPRC) | Registration required | Livestream available

About the Seminar

Cybelle Fox

In the early 1970s, California and New York each passed measures designed to bar unauthorized immigrants from access to public assistance. Common explanations for the curtailment of immigrant social rights often center on partisan politics, popular nativism, demographic context, or issue entrepreneurs. But these studies wrongly assume that efforts to limit immigrants’ access to aid began in the 1990s, when the federal government intervened and barred their access altogether.

Cybelle Fox, PhD (bio), professor of sociology at the University of California Berkeley, discusses how these restrictive measures were initially closely bound up in broader debates over race and welfare that followed in the wake of the War on Poverty and the Civil Rights Movement. Where scholars often argue that immigration undermines support for welfare, Dr. Fox shows how the turn against welfare helped to undermine immigrant social rights.

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