The Conflation of Legal and Illegal Immigration and its Effects on Welfare and Immigration Reform.

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This study examines the origins of conflating views of legal and illegal immigration and the effects of such onwelfare reform and immigration reform. My research question is then: How hasthe conflation of legal and illegal immigration, by both the American public and legislators, led to the gradual integration of welfare reform intoimmigration reform? The thesis of my project is: the integration of welfarereform into immigration reform within the last two decades is the result of conflated views of legal and illegal immigration based on ethnic and cultural stereotypes of Latinoimmigrants. The American public and legislators base these conflated views on personal economic and political motivations, and their tendency to rely on elite institutions for information. This creates an environmentof fear and rejection towards Latino immigrants, despite the fact that thereis evidence disproving assumed negative cultural habits. In order to analyze the relationship of Latino immigration to welfare and immigration reform, from 1980-1996, Iwill deconstruct the origins of this perceived threat towards this populationfrom a legal, historical, social constructed, and legislative perspective. Iwill then use this initial study to further analyze the effects of immigrationand welfare reform by conducting a field study on the impact of such policiesfrom a community perspective


R. Freer




Support provided by:The Paul K. and Evalyn E. Cook Richter Trust

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