A&M International Faculty Member Heads Welfare Study

Dr. Cecilia Garza, Assistant Professor of Sociology at Texas A&M International University, has been selected to direct part of an 18-month study on the implementation and effects of the 1996 Welfare and Immigration Reform Acts.

The study is being conducted in nine counties along the Texas-Mexico border, including Cameron, El Paso, Harris, Hidalgo, Maverick, Starr, Webb, Wallacy, and Zapata, and in the Mexican cities of Matamoros, Nuevo Laredo, Reynosa, and Tijuana.

Dr. Garza is serving as site director for Webb, Zapata, and Maverick counties. She will interview public officials, community leaders, and members of 100 immigrant households on the potential consequences of the welfare and immigration reform policies.

She has initiated the interview process with several agencies involved in the implementation of the changes. Garza is seeking voluntary and confidential participation from public officials and community leaders who have insight and input into the reform policies.

At the conclusion of the study, findings will be distributed to public officials, state legislators, community leaders, and policy makers in the public and private sectors.

The study is being conducted by the University of Houston's Center for Immigration Research with sponsorship from the Ford Foundation. Drs. Nestor Rodriguez and Jackie Hagan, both with the University of Houston's Center for Immigration Research, are co-directing the research.

For more information on the Welfare and Immigration Reform Acts study, please contact Dr. Garza at (956) 326-2619, or by email at cgarza@tamiu.edu.

University office hours are 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday - Friday.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu