CHAPTER 10
Receipt of Public Assistance by Mexican American and Cuban American Children in Native and Immigrant Families1

Sandra L. Hofferth

The public perception that immigrants are costly, particularly because they rely on public assistance more than natives do, contributed to provisions in the Parental Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) of August 1996 restricting immigrants' access to public assistance. This new legislation denies some forms of public assistance (e.g., food stamps) to almost all immigrants until citizenship and denies other forms of public assistance (Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), Medicaid) to new immigrants for five years. It allows states to deny AFDC, Medicaid, and Title XX social services block grant funds to immigrants who came to the United States before August 1996, although almost all states have opted to continue this coverage. Thus, it is a surprise to many that, when demographic and economic differences between them are controlled, analyses of working-age populations have found immigrants to be significantly less likely to receive public assistance of various kinds than natives (Fix and Passel, 1994).

There are a variety of types and sources of public assistance, however, and there may be differences in immigrant receipt among them. Additionally, previous analyses have focused on

1  

An early version of this paper was presented at the annual meeting of the Population Association of America, March 26-30, 1997, in Washington, D.C.



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Children of Immigrants: Health, Adjustment, and Public Assistance CHAPTER 10 Receipt of Public Assistance by Mexican American and Cuban American Children in Native and Immigrant Families1 Sandra L. Hofferth The public perception that immigrants are costly, particularly because they rely on public assistance more than natives do, contributed to provisions in the Parental Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) of August 1996 restricting immigrants' access to public assistance. This new legislation denies some forms of public assistance (e.g., food stamps) to almost all immigrants until citizenship and denies other forms of public assistance (Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), Medicaid) to new immigrants for five years. It allows states to deny AFDC, Medicaid, and Title XX social services block grant funds to immigrants who came to the United States before August 1996, although almost all states have opted to continue this coverage. Thus, it is a surprise to many that, when demographic and economic differences between them are controlled, analyses of working-age populations have found immigrants to be significantly less likely to receive public assistance of various kinds than natives (Fix and Passel, 1994). There are a variety of types and sources of public assistance, however, and there may be differences in immigrant receipt among them. Additionally, previous analyses have focused on 1   An early version of this paper was presented at the annual meeting of the Population Association of America, March 26-30, 1997, in Washington, D.C.

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Children of Immigrants: Health, Adjustment, and Public Assistance working-age populations or on households; none has focused on children. The issue is whether immigrants' needs represent a disproportionate burden on federal funds relative to those of comparable natives. This chapter focuses on public assistance receipt by native and immigrant Mexican and Cuban American children and their families compared with children in white native families using data collected from 1990 to 1995 in a nationally representative survey that oversampled Mexican and Cuban American families. INTRODUCTION Eligibility of Immigrants for Public Assistance Benefits Even prior to the passage of PRWORA, the context for the current study, many immigrants were, in fact, ineligible for public assistance benefits. Undocumented immigrants were eligible only for such things as emergency medical care and the Women, Infants, and Children supplemental program (WIC; Fix and Passel, 1994). Mexico, El Salvador, and Guatemala account for more than half of all illegal immigrants today and 80 percent of those legalized under the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986. Immigrants who legalized their status under IRCA were barred from receiving public assistance for five years. Additionally, if legal permanent residents applied for public assistance programs during their first three years in the United States, their sponsor's income was to be included in determining eligibility. As a result, many legal permanent residents were not eligible. Because of the circumstances under which they arrived in the United States, usually with no money or provisions, refugees have had greater access to special assistance for their first five years here than nonrefugees. While refugees comprise only about 10 percent of immigrants in a given year, they constitute a substantial proportion of some immigrant groups, such as Cubans, Eastern Europeans, and Southeast Asians (Fix and Passel, 1994). Limitations on public assistance make it likely that immigrants receive some types but not others. Refugees and elderly immigrants have high rates of participation in Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), for example (Fix and Passel,

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Children of Immigrants: Health, Adjustment, and Public Assistance 1994). It is important, therefore, to look separately at the different types of public assistance benefits offered and to consider the country of origin and refugee status of immigrants. Whether immigrants have access to benefits depends first and foremost on their economic status; a prime condition for eligibility for most public assistance programs is a low level of income, usually around the poverty threshold. Eligibility may also depend on the head of household's age, health, marital status, and number and ages of the children. Younger heads and those with many or younger children may be more likely to receive AFDC and less likely to be eligible for SSI and other welfare. Married heads and those in good health will have less need for assistance. Since unemployment is higher and wages lower among those with low levels of schooling, lesser education may also be associated with greater program eligibility. There are also substantial differences in public assistance programs across states and regions of the country. Generally, benefits are lower in the South, while they are higher in the West and Northeast. Since residents are more likely to qualify for and receive benefits in a high-compared with a low-benefit state, regional differences should be taken into account. Finally, poor economic conditions in the local community, such as high unemployment rates, may make receipt of public assistance more likely. Previous Research Other studies have conducted in-depth comparisons of the public assistance receipt of immigrants compared with natives. Immigrant households are generally more likely to receive various forms of public assistance (Tienda and Jensen, 1986). Once socioeconomic and demographic differences between natives and immigrants were taken into account using the 1976 Survey of Income and Education, both Blau (1984) and Simon and Akbari (1996) found that immigrants were less likely to receive welfare payments (including AFDC, other welfare, and SSI) than the native born. Analyses based on the 1970 and 1980 censuses also found immigrant families to be generally less likely than natives

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Children of Immigrants: Health, Adjustment, and Public Assistance to receive public assistance, all else being equal (Jensen, 1988; Tienda and Jensen, 1986). A recent paper based on the Survey of Income and Program Participation reports that, while immigrant-native differences in the probability of receiving cash benefits were small, differences widened once noncash benefits were included, since immigrants generally tended to have higher receipt of noncash benefits (Borjas and Hilton, 1996). Households whose head was foreign born were found to receive cash benefits, Medicaid, and vouchers (food stamps, WIC, heating assistance) for a shorter proportion of time than natives, after controlling for a variety of demographic factors that differed between native and immigrant households. However, when housing subsidies and school breakfasts and lunches were added to the set, households with a foreign-born head received assistance for a significantly longer proportion of time than those with a native-born head. It is important to determine exactly which forms of public assistance immigrants are more likely to receive and whether this relationship is explained by other characteristics of the family, particularly demographic characteristics and poverty level. Children Versus Adults Although immigrant children represent a sizable component of the next generation, most research on immigrants to date has focused on adults (Edmonston, 1996). Because immigrant families tend to be larger in size, with more children, focusing on families may or may not represent how well children are doing. High rates of immigration have led to dramatic changes in the racial and ethnic composition of the student population in the United States over the past decade. Hispanic and Asian enrollment is rising steadily while white enrollment is declining and black enrollment remains largely constant (National Center for Education Statistics, 1993). Between 1979 and 1989, the number of persons age 5 and older in the United States who were reported to speak a language other than English at home increased by about 40 percent, from 9 to 12 percent. Between 1986 and 1991, the limited English proficient (LEP) student population grew by over 50 percent, while the total student population grew by only 4 percent

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Children of Immigrants: Health, Adjustment, and Public Assistance (Fix and Passel, 1994). This rapid growth in the number and share of non-English-speaking students has created problems and challenges for schools. The new students are increasingly likely to be poor and are not only culturally unlike previous student cohorts but unlike each other. In some schools, dozens of language groups are represented. Over half of all students from 49 of the largest 100 school districts are black, Hispanic, or Asian (Population Reference Bureau, 1989). This has led to considerable concern about how well their families are doing economically and how much of a burden they place on state and local government services. What is an Immigrant? We usually think of an immigrant as someone born in another country who arrives in the United States some time after birth, while a native is a person born in the United States. Because of the special dependent circumstances of children, we are interested in children of foreign-born parents, whether or not the child was born in this country. Of course, whether or not a child was born in the United States is a critical piece of information, as it is a critical distinction for eligibility for public programs. All persons born in the United States are U.S. citizens and are entitled to all of the rights of citizenship, including public programs. Therefore, we would expect the families of U.S.-born children to have the highest likelihood of receipt of public assistance, compared with other groups. The important comparison would be between foreign-born children of foreign-born parents (first generation) and native-born children of foreign-born parents (second generation) or native-born parents (third generation). The latter should be more likely to receive public assistance purely because of increased eligibility. Other Nativity Differences Foreign birth also implies a shorter length of residence in the United States and a lesser degree of adjustment to U.S. life. It is expected that families may need substantial assistance after they

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Children of Immigrants: Health, Adjustment, and Public Assistance first arrive here, their needs declining as they adjust to their new lives. This would lead us to expect higher receipt of public assistance in the first and second generations. Concerns have been raised about differences in the assimilation of immigrant children and children of immigrants. While adopting American language and ways has been a prerequisite for success in the past, recent research on the relationship between generational status and school performance contradicts this straight-line assimilation hypothesis (Kao and Tienda, 1995). Rather than school performance improving over generations as immigrants learn English and local customs, it appears to worsen. One hypothesis is that immigration is likely to be selective of behaviors, values, and/or cultural groups that promote achievement. Many immigrant groups have very strong achievement orientations and values; after all, in many cases they made considerable sacrifices to come here (Duran and Weffer, 1992; Kao and Tienda, 1995). They have strong family networks that also help to maintain their values (Portes and Zhou, 1992). They expect to work hard in their new country, and they are self-sufficient. The longer immigrants have been here, and the more exposure to the values of native groups around them, the more they may lose the strong ties and values that maintain self-sufficiency and high performance (Kao and Tienda, 1995). As immigrants begin to face reality, they may lose some of this optimism and become disillusioned with their prospects for social mobility (Kao and Tienda, 1995). This would suggest highest receipt of public assistance by the third generation. Evidence for this hypothesis is not very strong, however, as few studies have detailed the kinds of values, behaviors, and parenting practices of immigrant and native groups that are needed to test this hypothesis. The present study examines one's own nativity and parental nativity as a proxy for successive assimilation into American society. To test this hypothesis, receipt of public assistance by families of children with foreign-born parents (first- and second-generation children) is compared with families of native-born children with native-born parents (third-generation children).

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Children of Immigrants: Health, Adjustment, and Public Assistance Focus of This Chapter This chapter focuses on the following programs: AFDC, SSI, other welfare, Medicaid, food stamps, heating assistance, and housing assistance (rent subsidies or public housing). Other welfare consists of general assistance and miscellaneous state assistance. In 1994 total federal expenditures for these seven programs amounted to more than $250 billion (Bureau of the Census, 1996). Medicaid was the largest program. AFDC, SSI, food stamps, and housing assistance were smaller but similar in expenditures to each other. General assistance and energy assistance (heating assistance) were small programs. In terms of benefits, however, food stamps reached almost as many recipients as did Medicaid, with AFDC reaching about half as many recipients. The interest here is in the following differences in receipt of public assistance: (1) generational differences between immigrant and native children of the same ethnic background, (2) racial/ethnic differences between children of the same immigrant generation, and (3) differences between Mexican and Cuban immigrant and native children of different generations and white native-born children. RESULTS Description of the Sample The total sample consists of 11,691 children under age 18 who were participants in at least one year of the 1990 to 1992 waves of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (see Appendix 10A for a description of the sample). The full analysis sample consists of 221 foreign-born Mexican American children (first generation); 1,116 native-born Mexican children of a foreign-born parent (second generation); 1,224 native-born Mexican children of native-born parents (third generation); and 238 Mexican children missing information on nativity.2 The sample also includes 63 2    Children missing nativity information are primarily those not living with a parent. Birthplace of the child, which determines whether the child is of the first generation, is known for almost all children. If the child is not of the first genera

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Children of Immigrants: Health, Adjustment, and Public Assistance first-generation Cuban children, 243 second-generation Cuban children, 57 third-generation Cuban children, and 42 Cuban children missing nativity information. There are 786 Puerto Rican children; 178 other Hispanic children; 3,915 white children; 3,534 black children; and 74 children of other races/ethnicities—all U.S. born of U.S.-born parents. To provide a descriptive picture of the children in this study, I selected the most recent year, 1992. Table 10-1 shows basic weighted distributions of child and family characteristics for the 9,872 individual children who were under age 18 in 1992 by ethnicity and nativity. (For variable definitions, see Appendix 10B.) On average, children were 8 years old, and the household head of the family in which they lived was age 37, married, in good health, had graduated from high school, and had 2.3 children, of which the youngest was 6 years old. Number of Children Children's family size varies with ethnicity and nativity. As expected, first-generation Mexican American children's families are the largest, with 3.8 children on average, compared with 3 children in families of second-generation children, and 2.6 in native children's families. Children in black, other Latino, and Puerto Rican families are in the next-largest-size families, with about 2.5 children each, and children in Cuban families are in the smallest families, with 1.9 in first-generation Cuban children's families, 2 children in second-generation children's families, and 1.6 children in third-generation children's families. White children's families averaged 2.2 children. Education of Household Head Education levels were lowest for Mexican children's families. Of foreign-born Mexican children, 84 percent were in a family     tion and no information is available about the parent, the parental birthplace cannot be determined. In this case I am unable to distinguish between those with a native-born or a foreign-born parent—that is, whether they are second-or third-generation children.

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Children of Immigrants: Health, Adjustment, and Public Assistance TABLE 10-1 Characteristics of U.S. Children and Their Families by Ethnicity and Nativity, 1992   Age Age of Household Head Health Marital Status of Head Age of Youngest Child Number of Children Under 18 Mexican1 13.10 40.12 0.18 0.77 6.03 3.83 Mexican2 7.42 37.79 0.31 0.84 4.54 3.02 Mexican3 7.88 35.09 0.61 0.60 5.34 2.60 Mexican4 8.73 44.42 0.24 0.49 5.31 2.55 Cuban1 14.49 42.60 0.45 0.93 10.17 1.87 Cuban2 7.12 42.00 0.41 0.74 5.57 2.06 Cuban3 4.97 31.20 0.68 0.88 4.33 1.59 Cuban4 9.70 54.93 0.11 0.74 9.70 1.00 Puerto Rican 8.00 36.40 0.34 0.48 5.58 2.52 Other Latino 8.44 36.44 0.63 0.69 6.24 2.50 White 8.56 37.98 0.69 0.85 6.70 2.23 Black 8.12 36.36 0.46 0.39 5.50 2.51 Other 5.67 36.41 0.75 0.74 4.33 1.74 Total 8.41 37.52 0.61 0.74 6.29 2.34   Poverty Status Less Than High School High School Graduate Some College College Degree or Higher Missing Education Mexican1 0.62 0.84 0.12 0.01 0.01 0.01 Mexican2 0.31 0.66 0.18 0.07 0.04 0.05 Mexican3 0.31 0.44 0.29 0.19 0.05 0.03 Mexican4 0.35 0.65 0.15 0.13 0.02 0.06 Cuban1 0.13 0.30 0.34 0.24 0.13 0.00 Cuban2 0.23 0.23 0.34 0.21 0.11 0.10 Cuban3 0.08 0.23 0.42 0.06 0.27 0.01 Cuban4 0.16 0.66 0.19 0.00 0.16 0.00 Puerto Rican 0.45 0.57 0.27 0.07 0.04 0.05 Other Latino 0.21 0.17 0.49 0.17 0.10 0.08 White 0.08 0.16 0.33 0.21 0.29 0.01 Black 0.41 0.29 0.44 0.18 0.07 0.02 Other 0.15 0.22 0.25 0.15 0.34 0.04 Total 0.17 0.23 0.34 0.20 0.22 0.02

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Children of Immigrants: Health, Adjustment, and Public Assistance   Northeast North-Central West South Missing Region Unemployment Rate N Mexican1 0.03 0.06 0.83 0.08 0.00 6.84 154 Mexican2 0.01 0.09 0.72 0.16 0.01 7.68 946 Mexican3 0.00 0.27 0.44 0.27 0.02 6.78 1,057 Mexican4 0.03 0.20 0.54 0.23 0.00 7.74 189 Cuban1 0.16 0.00 0.04 0.75 0.00 8.56 40 Cuban2 0.10 0.06 0.05 0.79 0.01 8.64 213 Cuban3 0.19 0.00 0.21 0.60 0.00 8.08 50 Cuban4 0.72 0.00 0.00 0.28 0.00 8.58 27 Puerto Rican 0.64 0.11 0.10 0.15 0.07 7.83 606 Other Latino 0.13 0.34 0.19 0.34 0.01 6.94 149 White 0.23 0.32 0.17 0.28 0.01 6.69 3,410 Black 0.13 0.22 0.10 0.55 0.00 7.11 2,968 Other 0.29 0.03 0.36 0.27 0.05 6.83 63 Total 0.20 0.28 0.19 0.32 0.01 6.85 9,872 NOTE: 1 = first generation; 2 = second generation; 3 = third generation; 4 = missing generation. whose head had less than a high school education. This dropped to 66 percent for native-born Mexican American children of a foreign-born parent and was 44 percent for native-born children of native-born parents. Puerto Rican children also were educationally disadvantaged. More than half of all Puerto Rican children lived in families in which the head had less than a high school education. Cuban parents were the best educated; fewer than one-third of first-generation Cuban children lived in a family whose head had less than a high school education. In fact, 37 percent lived in a family in which the head had some college. Only 23 percent of native-born Cuban children had a (native-or foreign-born) parent with less than a high school education. Twenty-nine percent of black and 17 percent of other Latino children lived in families in which the head had less than a high school education. In contrast, only 16 percent of white children lived in a family in which the head had less than a high school education; 50 percent lived in a family in which the head had completed at least some college.

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Children of Immigrants: Health, Adjustment, and Public Assistance Parents' Marital Status More than three-quarters of first-and second-generation Mexican children and Cuban children lived with two married parents. About 85 percent of white children and 69 percent of other Latino children also were living with married parents. Black children were least likely to live with two married parents; in 1992 only 39 percent did so. Puerto Rican children were a close second, with 48 percent living with two married parents. One disturbing generational difference is that among Mexican Americans the proportion living with married parents was lower in the third generation (60 percent) than in the second generation. This was not true for Cuban families. Poverty Status Poverty rates are very high for all Mexican, Puerto Rican, and black children's families. Poverty rates for families of Cuban children are quite low; third-generation Cuban children's families are no more likely than white children's families to be poor. Geographic Location One major difference between Mexicans and Cubans is where they settle in the United States. As expected, Mexican children are concentrated in the western United States and Cuban children in the South (Florida). These groups also disperse over time, though they still maintain a significant concentration in their original area of settlement. While 83 percent of foreign-born Mexican children live in the West, 72 percent of native-born Mexican children of foreign-born parents do, compared with only 44 percent of native-born Mexican children of native-born parents. The concentration of Cuban children is a bit higher—75 percent of foreign-born children, 79 percent of native-born children of foreign-born parents, and 60 percent of Cuban children of native-born parents live in the South. In contrast, 17 percent of whites live in the West, 32 percent live in the North-Central United States, 28 percent live in the South, and 23 percent live in the Northeast. The pattern of other Latinos, who are long-time residents of the

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Children of Immigrants: Health, Adjustment, and Public Assistance FIGURE 10-4 Predicted probability of Medicaid receipt by ethnicity and nativity. Housing. Only 2 percent of white children lived in families that received subsidized housing in one study year (Table 10-2). Housing is the only form of assistance in which first-generation Mexican American children are as likely as third-generation children and more likely than white children to receive public assistance. This relationship persists even after controls are introduced for socioeconomic status and demographic characteristics. The survey questions ask about residence in public housing projects as well as about receipt of other forms of housing assistance, such as vouchers. Researchers have pointed out that survey respondents are unable to distinguish between private and public sources of assistance and substantially overreport both living in public housing and receiving housing assistance (Houser, 1997). Thus, it is possible that many recent immigrants are recipients of assistance

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Children of Immigrants: Health, Adjustment, and Public Assistance FIGURE 10-5 Predicted probability of housing assistance receipt by ethnicity and nativity. from private local nonprofit or state agencies instead of federal sources. Receipt of housing assistance by the families of first-and second-generation Cuban children does not differ significantly from that of whites, all else being equal. Their greater receipt before controls is due to differences in both poverty and demographic characteristics. Receipt of housing assistance by third-generation Cuban children's families remains higher than that of whites after controlling for economic and demographic characteristics. The predicted probabilities of housing assistance receipt for the various ethnicity/nativity groups are shown in Figure 10-5. Heating Assistance. On average, 5 percent of white children were in families that received assistance in heating their homes. The differences between Mexican children and white children in the receipt of heating assistance are due to both economic and demo-

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Children of Immigrants: Health, Adjustment, and Public Assistance graphic factors. Adjusting for poverty reduces the difference between first-and second-generation Mexican children and white children to nonsignificance. Adjusting for differences in demographic factors also results in first-and second-generation Mexican American children being significantly less likely than white children to be in families that received heating assistance. In contrast, third-generation Mexican children are more likely than white children to be in families receiving heating assistance. Controlling only for year and region, second-and third-generation Cuban children are neither more or less likely than white children to be in families receiving heating assistance. Once poverty status is controlled, Cuban children are less likely than white children to live in families receiving heating assistance. This could be due to differences in where these groups locate in the United States, with first-and second-generation Mexican Americans and Cubans residing in more temperate climates than Puerto Ricans. Black children and Puerto Rican children are significantly more likely than white children to be in families receiving heating assistance, and they are more likely to live in northern parts of the United States. While controls are in place for region of the country, these regions are sufficiently wide that there could be variations in the need for heat. For example, Washington, D.C., is included in the South and Seattle in the West. Third-generation Mexican children are more dispersed geographically than the first and second generations, which could explain the difference in heating assistance among Mexican Americans by generation. Total. About 14 percent of white children were in families that received either cash or noncash assistance in one year between 1990 and 1995 (Table 10-2). All racial and ethnic minority children are more likely than white children to receive either cash or noncash assistance. This is not surprising, since they are more likely to be socioeconomically disadvantaged. Once these economic and demographic differences are controlled, the differences diminish, though they disappear only for first-and second-generation Mexican children. Net of all control variables, first-and second-generation Mexican immigrant children were 26 and 12 percent, respectively, less likely than third-generation native white children to receive either cash or noncash assistance. Third-

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Children of Immigrants: Health, Adjustment, and Public Assistance generation Mexican children were significantly more likely to receive cash or noncash assistance. Net of socioeconomic and other factors, first-, second-, and third-generation Cuban children were twice as likely to be in families receiving public assistance as white children. This reflects their greater eligibility for and use of services as refugees. The major users of public assistance are those to whom that assistance is directed by public policy. Puerto Rican children were 3.4 times and black children 2.6 times as likely to be in families receiving public assistance as white children. Thus, it is not solely immigrants who place heavy demands on U.S. funds for public assistance. However, some negative long-term implications are suggested by the fact that native-born Mexican children of native-born parents are significantly more likely to receive public assistance than are comparable native-born white children. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS The most important finding of this paper is that the higher level of receipt of some forms of public assistance by Mexican-born children and children of Mexican-born parents is due to their disadvantaged socioeconomic and demographic characteristics, not to their immigrant status per se. Higher levels of receipt of public assistance by Cuban American children are likely due to their particular circumstances upon entry into this country, such as the special refugee status of Cuban children's families. The public perception is that minority groups are heavy users of public assistance programs, and it is the case that the chance of a minority child's family receiving public assistance is higher than that of a white family; however, this is not due to recent immigration. When socioeconomic and demographic factors are controlled, first-generation Mexican American children are less likely to receive AFDC, SSI, food stamps, Medicaid, and heating assistance than are whites; they are more likely to receive housing assistance. Second-generation Mexican American children are less likely to receive AFDC, SSI, and heating assistance; more likely to receive housing assistance; and about as likely as whites to receive food stamps and Medicaid. Third-generation Mexican American children are more likely to receive almost all forms of

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Children of Immigrants: Health, Adjustment, and Public Assistance assistance. Thus, the ''immigrant optimism" hypothesis is supported for Mexicans. The lesser receipt by first-generation Mexican children may be due to less legal eligibility, to fear of discovery among undocumented immigrants, or to a greater work ethic among recent arrivals. Greater receipt of housing assistance by Mexican children's families may result from private assistance being misreported as public assistance. Noncitizen Mexican Americans would be especially affected by budgetary cutbacks in food stamps and Medicaid. In contrast, Cuban children are more likely than white children to receive all forms of public assistance, regardless of nativity, once other factors are controlled. First-generation Cuban American children live in families that are about as likely to receive AFDC, other welfare, housing assistance, and heating assistance as whites. Their pattern of receipt of SSI, food stamps, and Medicaid follows the more typical straight-line assimilation model, with greater use in the first and second generations than in the third generation. This is likely to be due to the fact that Cubans enter the United States as refugees, which makes them immediately eligible for a variety of public assistance programs. The 1996 federal welfare reform legislation will affect their eligibility for these forms of public assistance once they have been in this country for five years. Other Hispanic children, third generation or more, were also more likely to be receiving public assistance than white children. Most striking, however, is the substantial receipt of public assistance by Puerto Rican and black children's families, which are much more likely than white children's families to receive every form of public assistance except AFDC (Puerto Ricans) and heating assistance (blacks), even after controlling for economic and demographic factors. Puerto Ricans and blacks are all U.S. citizens. Rather than recency of entry into the United States, it is disadvantaged socioeconomic and demographic status that contributes to the continued receipt of public assistance by Mexicans. Among Cubans it is probably their special status as refugees. Greater receipt by Puerto Rican and black children's families was not explained by the variables included in this study. Since children of Hispanic origin generally (including other Latinos) were found to be more likely to receive all forms of pub-

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Children of Immigrants: Health, Adjustment, and Public Assistance lic assistance compared with native whites, I suspect that people perceive Hispanic children to be receiving public assistance and to presume they are immigrants. In fact, half of Hispanic Americans were born in the United States (Fix and Passel, 1994). While Cubans have high rates of public assistance in the first two generations, they are integrated by the third generation, perhaps at least partly because of the assistance they received. In contrast, the analyses I conducted showed that for several forms of public assistance it is third-generation Mexican American children (not those of the first or second generation) who are more likely than whites to receive public assistance. Other Latinos also have higher rates of receipt of many forms of public assistance. If these Hispanic groups are not incorporated more rapidly into mainstream American society but are marginalized, the third generation will continue to need temporary assistance, a challenge to welfare reformers. Furthermore, the fact that black and Puerto Rican children continue to be very significantly higher recipients of public assistance suggests that, rather than recency of entry into the United States, it is the failure of minority racial/ethnic groups to be fully integrated into mainstream American society that is the problem. REFERENCES Blau, F. 1984 The use of transfer payments by immigrants. Industrial and Labor Relations Review 37(2):222-239. Borjas, G., and L. Hilton 1996 Immigration and the welfare state: Immigrant participation in meanstested entitlement programs. Quarterly Journal of Economics CVXI:575-604. Bureau of the Census 1996 How we're changing. Current Population Reports P23(191):1-4. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Commerce. Duran, B., and R. Weffer 1992 Immigrants' aspirations, high school process, and academic outcomes. American Educational Research Journal 29(1):163-181. Edmonston, B. (ed.) 1996 Statistics on U.S. Immigration: An Assessment of Data Needs for Future Research. Committee on National Statistics, National Research Council. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.

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Children of Immigrants: Health, Adjustment, and Public Assistance Fix, M., and J. Passel 1994 Immigration and Immigrants. Washington, D.C.: The Urban Institute. Houser, S. 1997 The Effects of Tenant-Based and Project-Based Housing Assistance on Employment. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Western Economic Association, Seattle, July 10-12. Jensen, L. 1988 Patterns of immigration and public assistance utilization, 1970-1980. International Migration Review XXII(1):51-83. Kao, G., and M. Tienda 1995 Optimism and achievement: The educational performance of immigrant youth. Social Science Quarterly 76(1):1-19. National Center for Education Statistics 1993 The Condition of Education 1993. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Education. Population Reference Bureau 1989 America in the 21st Century: Human Resource Development. Washington, D.C.: Population Reference Bureau. Portes, A., and M. Zhou 1992 Gaining the upper hand: Economic mobility among immigrant and domestic minorities. Ethnic and Racial Studies 15(4):491-522. Simon, J., and A. Akbari 1996 Determinants of welfare payment use by immigrants and natives in the United States and Canada. Pp. 79-100 in Immigrants and Immigration Policy: Individual Skills, Family Ties, and Group Identities, H. Duleep and W. Phanindra, eds. Greenwich, Conn.: JAI Press. Tienda, M., and L. Jensen 1986 Immigration and public assistance participation: Dispelling the myth of dependency. Social Science Research 15:372-400.

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Children of Immigrants: Health, Adjustment, and Public Assistance APPENDIX 10A: DATA AND MEASURES Now in its thirtieth year of data collection, the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) is a longitudinal survey of a representative sample of U.S. men, women, children, and the families in which they reside. Data on employment, income, wealth, housing, food expenditures, transfer income, and marital and fertility behavior have been collected annually since 1968. Between 1990 and 1995, a sample of 2,043 Latino households was added to the existing PSID sample of 7,300 households. This sample was drawn from a 1989 study of political affiliation and participation directed by Rodolfo de la Garza (University of Texas) and was conducted by the Institute for Survey Research at Temple University. The original sample was drawn from a sample of 40 out of 382 U.S. counties with the highest concentrations of Latino individuals. These counties provide coverage of slightly more than 90 percent of the three most prevalent Latino groups in the United States: Puerto Rican, Cuban, and Mexican American. Cuban and Puerto Rican households were selected at substantially higher rates to obtain larger samples of the two groups so that analysts could make more precise statements about them. The PSID obtained permission from the investigators to reinterview the respondents, obtained contact information from Temple University, and attempted interviews with a subsample of the Latino National Political Survey (LNPS) respondents. The response rate to the PSID was 74.8 percent. Forty percent of the living 1990 Latino nonresponse was successfully interviewed in a special recontact effort in 1992. Therefore, the number of Latinos increased to 2,258 by 1992, despite attrition. The response rate is close to 92 percent from year to year, which is good but lower than the 97 percent for the core.

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Children of Immigrants: Health, Adjustment, and Public Assistance APPENDIX 10B: MEASURES Public Assistance. Similar to Borjas and Hilton (1996), the measures of public assistance receipt of a child's family include AFDC, SSI, other welfare, Medicaid, food stamps, heating assistance, and housing assistance (rent subsidy or public housing). Other welfare consists of general assistance and miscellaneous state assistance. Nativity and Ethnicity. The 1990 early-release dataset included a set of questions from the 1989 LNPS, such as immigrant status, birthplace, and parents' birthplaces as well as the core PSID questions. These data were used in conjunction with special questions asked in 1990 and 1992 to identify the birthplaces of child and parent. A first-generation child was born outside the United States. A second-generation child was born in the United States to at least one foreign-born parent. A third-or later-generation child was born in the United States to a native-born parent. All blacks, whites, and other Latinos were assigned to the third generations, as their families had been in the study since 1968. In addition, a set of questions identified both race and Hispanic origin and, for the LNPS respondents, whether they were Cuban, Mexican, or Puerto Rican in origin. Many of the original 1968 Latinos could also be coded as Mexican, Puerto Rican, or Cuban in background. "Other Latinos" therefore are from the original 1968 PSID but tend to be from places other than Mexico, Cuba, and Puerto Rico. Health. The health measure for a household's head comes from a question on general health: "Would you say your health in general is excellent, very good, good, fair, or poor?" "Excellent" and ''very good" were coded 1; "good," "fair," and "poor" were coded 0. Age of Household Head, Number of Children Under 18 in the Household, Age of Youngest Child, Marital Status of Household Head. All are obtained in the household composition section of the PSID survey and are edited to be consistent from year to year.

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Children of Immigrants: Health, Adjustment, and Public Assistance Education of Household Head. This comes from a series of questions about schooling that are updated each year only for new heads. Unemployment Rate. This is the unemployment rate in the county of residence. Region of Residence. Individual addresses are coded by the region of the country in which they fall—Northeast, North-Central, South, West, and "missing" region.

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Children of Immigrants: Health, Adjustment, and Public Assistance APPENDIX 10C: ANALYSIS PLAN Because final measures of income were not available in the 1993 through 1995 data, the data file analyzed here includes data from 1990 through 1992 only. Weights were drawn from the 1992 data. All children who were under age 18 in at least one year between 1990 and 1992 were selected, and a file with one record for each year that each child was in the PSID and under age 18, the child-year file, was created. Because children can be in the study for up to three years between 1990 and 1992, that greatly expands the number of analysis years. Once separate child-year records are created and years in which the child was 18 years of age or older are deleted, we observe 28,834 child-years, comprised of 489 first-generation Mexican person-years; 2,716 second-generation child-years; 2,914 third-generation child-years; and 415 child-years in which generation was missing. For Cuban children there are 156 first-generation child-years, 623 second-generation child-years, and 125 third-generation child-years, with 61 missing child-years. We observed 1,727 Puerto Rican child-years. There are 431 other Hispanic children child-years; 10,124 white child-years; 8,882 black child-years; and 171 other ethnicity child-years. Data Caution. The results from a child-based analysis cannot be expected to be identical to those from a family-based analysis. If immigrant families have more children than native families, their behavior will be more accurately represented more frequently in a child-based analysis than in a family-based analysis. If immigrant families are only slightly less likely to receive public assistance, the effects are likely to be stronger when children or child/ person-years become the unit of analysis.