Entitled to Nothing, Lisa Sun-Hee Park investigates how the politics of Immigration, health care, and Welfare are intertwined. Documenting the return of the immigrant as a "public charge," or a burden upon the State, she shows how the concept has been revived: as states adopt punitive policies targeting immigrants of color and require them to "pay back" benefits for which they are legally eligible during a time of intense debate regarding welfare reform.
Park argues that the notions of "public charge" and "public burden" were reinvigorated in the 1990s to target immigrant women of reproductive age for deportation and as part of a larger project of disciplining immigrants. Drawing on nearly 200 interviews with immigrant organizations, government agencies and safety net providers, as well as careful tracking of policies and media coverage, Park provides vivid, first-person accounts of how struggles over the "public charge" doctrine unfolded on the ground, as well as its consequences for the immigrant community. Ultimately, she shows that the concept of "public charge" continues to lurk in the background, structuring our conception of who can legitimately access public programs and of the moral economy of work and citizenship in the U.S., and makes important policy suggestions for reforming our immigration system.
About the Author
Lisa Sun-Hee Park is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Minnesota. She is the author of Consuming Citizenship: Children of Asian Immigrant Entrepreneurs and the co-author, with David Pellow, of The Slums of Aspen: Immigrants vs. the Environment in America's Eden and Silicon Valley of Dreams: Immigrant Labor, Environmental Injustice, and the High Tech Global Economy, also available from NYU Press.
Table of Contents
1 The Politics of Immigrant Reproduction 1
2 The Health of the Welfare State 31
3 The Politics of Public Charge 54
4 Living with Uncertainty under Ever-Shifting State Policy 88
5 Fear and Loathing at the Border 115
6 Bearing the Burden of Welfare Reform 139
Appendix A Research Methods 155
Appendix B Summary of Provisions of Federal Welfare and Immigration Reform Affecting Health Care Access 159
About the Author 205
What People are Saying About This
Informative and interesting...the book could not be timelier."-Marylin Aguirre-Molina,Health Affairs
"Recommended [for] all levels/libraries."-CHOICE