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Ford Foundation, and Lora Foo. “Welfare Reform’s Impact on Asian American Women.” In Asian American Women: Issues, Concerns, and Responsive Human and Civil Rights Advocacy, 25–45. iUniverse, Inc., 2003.


This chapter discusses negative effects of the passing of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act in 1996 on Asian American women. First, this act replaced the previous entitlement program for single mothers from Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) that only provides assistance for five years in a lifetime. Second, it cut off all immigrants from receiving food stamps, leaving much of the decision of how much aid and who is eligible for it to individual states. This has led to great variation in the services Asian American women are receiving across states--some provide job training, educational opportunities, and interpretation services, while other states did not. There are many issues regarding discrimination and language barriers in access to TANF, food stamps, and Medicaid, like caseworker hostility. The chapter concludes by addressing the need to not only reauthorize TANF to prevent the funds from running out, but also to ensure than Asian immigrant women have equal access to these benefits.                                                      This chapter is useful to understanding the challenges Asian American women face to having economic justice. The end of the chapter has various “Recommendations for Action” to ensure women still have access to these programs. There are recommendations at both the federal and state level, since both are involved in the determination and implementation of policy.


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Legislation/policy   Economic justice   Race/ethnicity: Asian American/Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander