MINORITY AFFAIRS FORUM
MINORITY AFFAIRS FORUM
There are articles here by
Norman Matloff, a specialist on welfare use by Chinese immigrants.
Michael Fix and Jeffrey Passel of the Urban Institute, who do general
analyses of immigration issues.
Don Barnett, a specialist on Russian refugees.
Frank Bean of the University of Texas (formerly with the Urban
The U.S. Government's General Accounting Office.
Robert Rector, a welfare specialist with the Heritage Foundation.
Thomas MaCurdy of Stanford University and the Public Policy
Institute of California (PPIC) and Margaret O'Brien-Strain
Norman Matloff speaks Chinese and has been immersed in the Chinese
immigrant community for 20 years. His articles here, describing
welfare use by elderly Chinese immigrants, are based on the 1990
Census data, as well as interviews conducted with Chinese immigrants
and community workers.
The first three items are ordered by length, beginning with the
Sacramento Bee article.
Provides a short overview of the problems: Over half of the elderly
Chinese immigrants who came to California during 1980-1987 were on
welfare in 1990. Welfare use by elderly immigrants (of all ethnicities,
not just Chinese) exploded by 400 percent in the 1980s.
These elderly immigrants are typically put there by their children,
who are breaking pledges, made as a condition for immigration, to
support their parents and keep them off welfare.
This article has a
special focus on the implications for family-reunification policies;
though the seniors are immigrating are ostensibly to rejoin their
children, many actually live far from their children, and are coming
to the U.S. primarily to collect welfare.
New Democrat article
(the New Democrat is the official magazine of the Democratic Leadership
Council): This article provides more detail on most aspects than
does the one from the Sacramento Bee. Special focus is
given to the manner in which immigrants learn about welfare,
including knowledge gained back in Asia before immigrating.
National Review article:
This one focuses on the contribution of welfare to the breakdown
of the traditional Chinese extended family. Many Chinese immigrants
are asking their elderly parents to live separately, facilitated by
the availability of welfare.
Matloff's expanded version (regularly updated) of his
testimonies (House, March 1, 1994; Senate, February 6, 1996)
on the problem: Goes into great detail (it is about 50 pages long when
printed as a hard copy), with many statistics, and various references.
Click here for
a more nicely-formatted Postscript version of this document.
Another short document, a transcription/translation of a
discussion of the welfare problem
on a San Francisco station's Chinese community-affairs
program. Matloff was one discussant, and the other was Rosemarie
Fan, social services manager for the Oakland Chinese Community
A translation of a Chinese-language
radio talk show in which Norman Matloff appeared as a guest. The
topic was immigration reform, particularly regarding immigrant use of
welfare. The host had warned him beforehand that he would receive a
lot of hostile calls, but it turned out that the vast majority of the
calls were supportive of immigration reform.
RAND Corporation report presents a comparative analysis of
several prominent fiscal-impact studies.
Analysts Michael Fix and Jeffrey Passel of the Urban Institute,
headquartered in Washington, DC, have produced a number of
publications on immigration, especially for pro-immigration
government officials and ethnic political organizations, such
as the Organization of Chinese Americans. In their work here,
published in the journal Public Welfare,
the authors argue that though overall welfare usage rates among
immigrants are higher than among native-borns, the effect is not
uniform, with the main problems being with refugees and elderly
1996 Senate testimony is more policy-oriented, less statistical,
than the Public Welfare article.
The General Accounting Office's report
presents some statistics on welfare use by legal permanent residents.
Don Barnett, who has lived in Russia, speaks Russian and is closely
tied to the Russian immigrant community in the U.S., speaks about
welfare problems associated with refugees.
Frank Bean's study for the Tomas Rivera Center
finds that many Latino immigrants are poor but stay off welfare.
A look at some people who would be affected if immigrants
were to become ineligible for welfare.
Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation proposes that the elderly
be allowed "permanent visitor" status in the U.S. but not be allowed
to formally immigrate. This article appeared in the February 23, 1996
issue of the Wall Street Journal.
A RAND Corp.
study looks at tax revenues paid by immigrants of various
A study by the
Public Policy Institute of California.
A CEIP overview of research on immigrant use of welfare.