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Impact of the 1996 Welfare Reform and Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Acts on Caribbean Immigrants

SUMMARY. This paper examines the impact of the 1996 Welfare Reform and Illegal Immigration and Immigrant Responsibility Acts on Caribbean immigrants in the United States. Drawing from the conceptual framework posited by Dye's (1984) Elite Preference Model of policy analysis, the author argues that the three laws have created enormous economic and psychological difficulties among families in the United States. Developing countries in the Caribbean region have been severely impacted by the law since they have had to accommodate returning citizens when they are deported under provisions of immigration policies. The question for consideration by this paper is how may the legal and human rights of deportees be balanced against the rights of the U.S. government to secure its borders and ensure the security of its citizens? The paper also addresses issues of immigration, and international relations particularly the north-south dialogue between powerful developed coun-

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