The Welfare-Magnet Hypothesis Reconsidered

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Venue:DM 193

Must See SAGGSA Colloquium EVENT:

The Welfare-Magnet Hypothesis Reconsidered: Agency and Constraint in Immigrants’ use of Public Assistance

Lecture by Dr. Chris Girard January 10, 2013 | 3:30 PM | FIU Modesto A Maidique Campus | DM 193

Beginning in the late 1970s, immigrants became progressively more reliant than natives on public assistance. Some researchers viewed this trend as evidence of the welfare state’s magnet effects encouraging the entry of poor immigrants who would not otherwise come to the United States and their use of naturalization as a means of circumventing immigrant welfare restrictions. Drawing on Current Population Survey data spanning three decades, Dr. Chris Girard traces the divergent welfare trajectories of immigrants based on varying degrees of agency and welfare access. His findings indicate substantial differences among migrants who are retirement-age or working age, illegal entrants, and refugees.

Dr. Girard will provide insight on whether welfare-magnet effects or naturalization provide a route to welfare dependency particularly among “high-agency” immigrants. Dr. Girard is an Associate Professor of Sociology. His current and past research interests include race and ethnicity; ethnic differences in age and gender patterns of suicide; political affiliation, ideology, and attitudes toward the US trade embargo among Cuban-Americans. Dr. Girard teaches Introductory to Sociology, Race and Ethnicity, and Marriage and the Family. He serves as a member of the graduate program committee.

For more information call 305-348-7266

The program is FREE and open to all FIU students and the public.