Entitled to Nothing
The Struggle for Immigrant Health Care in the Age of Welfare Reform
Publication Year: 2011
Published by: NYU Press
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The writing of this book ebbed and flowed for some time. The project began in San Francisco and, after a number of crucial stops in between, has somehow ended in Minneapolis. Throughout the process, I benefited from the encouragement, kindness, and welcome distractions of some remarkable people. At the Institute for Health Policy Studies...
1 The Politics of Immigrant Reproduction
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In 1998, twelve months after the birth of her twin girls, Sophia Chen1 traveled to China to introduce the girls to their grandparents. When she and the twins returned to the Los Angeles International Airport a few weeks later, anxious to go home, they were detained unexpectedly by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS, now ICE, Immigration Customs and Enforcement). Ms. Chen, who legally resides in the United States, was asked how...
2 The Health of the Welfare State
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The massive economic restructuring of the 1970s was pivotal to the development of global capitalism. This economic transformation, driven by a ferocious faith in a global market free of barriers to facilitate the flow of capital, fueled a parallel demand for transnational labor migration.3 In fact, Saskia Sassen argues that immigration is largely a result of the economic, political...
3 The Politics of Public Charge
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It is no coincidence that the notion of a “public charge” was formalized during the height of mass migration and the subsequent popularity of eugenics in the early twentieth century. The prominence of the American eugenics movement occurred in part as a response to social anxieties about immigrant female sexuality and reproduction. In his seminal text,...
4 Living with Uncertainty under Ever-Shifting State Policy
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This chapter focuses on the role of social workers in safety net hospitals and clinics who work with low-income immigrant communities in California. In particular, I discuss how the federal and state policies outlined in earlier chapters have affected social workers in health care settings as they find themselves in a delicate dilemma trying to uphold their obligation to...
5 Fear and Loathing at the Border
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Borders are contradictory. They have the potential to both enable and constrict ideas and actions. For this reason, borders are spaces of power. Whether they demarcate literal, physical place or figurative, abstract space, borders are socially constructed entities with the potential for real, lived consequences. Geographer David Sibley explains that boundaries can provide security and comfort as well as provoke risk and fear, depending upon where...
6 Bearing the Burden of Welfare Reform
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On September 9, 2009, Representative Joe Wilson interrupted President Barack Obama’s speech to a joint session of Congress by loudly shrieking, “You lie!” This unprecedented outburst occurred when the president was specifically addressing the issue of undocumented immigrants’ access within his new health care reform plan. As a New York Times editorial later stated, “Illegal immigration is an all-purpose policy explosive.”2 Why is this? What...
Appendix A: Research Methods
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Appendix B: Summary of Provisions of Federal Welfare and Immigration Reform Affecting Health Care Access
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About the Author
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Page Count: 208
Publication Year: 2011