IRCA's State Legalization Impact Assistance Grants (SLIAG)

Early Implementation

by Lin C. Liu

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Congress established the State Legalization Impact Assistance Grants (SLIAG) as part of the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986. More than 2.2 million previously undocumented aliens are already eligible for SLIAG benefits and most of the 675,000 others with pending applications for legalization will become eligible also. SLIAG was intended to reimburse state and local agencies for the costs of providing public assistance, public health, and education services and to ensure basic health, welfare, and education services for eligible legalized aliens. This Note, based on research conducted in Washington, D.C., and California, Texas, Florida, Illinois, and New York, focuses on SLIAG implementation issues. The findings suggest that the implementation of SLIAG in the first three years has been much slower and more complicated than expected. However, the program is now on course. Implementers have improved their procedures for service administration and cost recovery, and eligible legalized aliens have demanded more services. These trends are likely to lead to growth in demand for SLIAG resources, significant improvements in service providers' ability to justify costs, and substantial increases in the transfer of funds from the federal treasury to the states.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Note series. The note was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1979 to 1993 that reported other outputs of sponsored research for general distribution.

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