How Are Immigrants Faring After Welfare Reform?. Universe


The households that were eligible for the survey were those in Los Angeles County or New York City in which there was a foreign-born adult (someone 18 or older). We call these "immigrant households." and the groups of related individuals within them are "immigrant families." All respondents were adult members of the household, who also reported about other members of their households. Typically, the respondent was a foreign-born woman, such as the mother or wife in a family, but a substantial share of respondents were men.

Within each household, we sampled families and "focal people." All families with immigrant adults were eligible for sampling within the household. (Thus, if there were two families in a household and one was native citizen, that family would not be eligible. Similarly, unrelated people who were native-born were not eligible.) In most cases, there was just one family per household, however.

Within each immigrant family, we selected "focal people" about whom more detailed questions were asked. The focal people were:

  • the adult respondent (male or female, but more often female);
  • the respondent's spouse (legally married or nonmarital partner);
  • one child of respondent or spouse who was 0 to 5 years old;
  • one child of respondent or spouse who was 6 to 17 years old; and
  • any elderly foreign-born person in the household (usually a parent of the adult or an elderly spouse).

In addition, we sampled a second respondent (R2) who was another foreign-born adult in the household who did not have children.

In general, LANYCIS is representative of all individuals in immigrant households living in Los Angeles County or New York city, with limited exceptions. For example, it does not cover native citizens who are living in immigrant households but are not part of their families (e.g., native citizen roommates or boarders). Nor does it cover families in which the parents are native citizens but the children are immigrants (e.g., families that have adopted a child from outside the United States).

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