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RESEARCH AREAS > Welfare/Social Insurance > California's Immigrant Families and Welfare Reform

California's Immigrant Families and Welfare Reform
This research provides an overview of California's immigrant families before and after the passage and implementation of welfare reforms in the 1990's. It focuses on changes in patterns of participation in public assistance programs. Analyses range from simple descriptive statistics providing a snapshot of California's immigrant population to more detailed analyses of how immigrant households access public assistance, support themselves financially, and leave the public assistance system. Ongoing analyses measure changes in the likelihood of entering public assistance programs and in the likelihood of leaving public assistance programs, while future analyses will examine the experience and behaviors of immigrant families as they reach the time limits associated with CalWORKs after 2000.

As part of the project, we will develop a longitudinal data set containing survey data from the U.S. Census Bureau (SIPP and CPS) matched with administrative records from California's Department of Social Services and Employment Development Department (EDD) wage records and California Medi-Cal participation (MEDS) data. While the state administrative records provide wage, employment and program participation information from the late 1980s to the opening years of the 2000s, the Census Bureau data add a rich array of demographic and economic characteristics of individual and families. A similar longitudinal data set will be developed and analyzed using the California CalWORKs Survey (Q5) data set. This research is ongoing.
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