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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Fight to Save Welfare for Low-Income Older Asian Immigrants: The Role of National Asian American Organizations


The welfare reform law of August 1996 signed by President Bill Clinton put an end to immigrants’ eligibility of federal means tested entitlements. The rollbacks on welfare are the most drastic for older, low-income Asian immigrants who are on Supplemental Security Income. The article’s focus is in on national Asian American organizations who are involved in this political debate. The central question discuss is how did national Asian American organizations characterize and affect the 1996 federal welfare reform and immigrant debate. The selection of organizations that was studied and the findings of that investigation, along with the assessment of its effectiveness and the resources barriers they face are discussed.

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