Una senora me dijo…/A woman told me: Rumor and access to benefits in an exurban Mexican immigrant communityedit
Social welfare scholars emphasize the negative effect that tiers of eligibility within families have on the well-being of citizen children whose undocumented parents fear the repercussions of accessing the welfare system. The current policy context is defined as exclusionary without full knowledge of how policies are lived by those defined as excluded. A few ethnographic studies suggest that despite vulnerable legal status, undocumented Mexican mothers may interact with public welfare institutions more often than suspected. To extend this knowledge base, this study analyzed access to information and benefits among undocumented Mexican mothers seeking resources for their citizen children in a new, exurban immigrant community. The role of weak versus strong ties, based on Granovetter’s conceptualization, guided the study focus.