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State and Local Policies on Immigrants and Public Benefits

Responding to the 1996 Welfare Law

By Tanya Broder

This article gives an overview of state policies on immigrants and benefits that have developed since the passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, and the Balanced Budget Act of 1997. It explores issues that immigrant communities confront as welfare policy "devolves" to the local level; it also describes strategies to ensure that immigrants and their families secure the benefits that they need.

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