Dr. Victoria M. DeFrancesco Soto

Dr. Victoria M. DeFrancesco Soto

About

Victoria is a political scientist that got the political nerd bug in middle school student council. Today she hangs her hat at the LBJ School of Public Affairs and engages in political wonkiness on MSNBC, NBCNews.com, and Telemundo among others. more→

Research

Victoria brings an interdisciplinary lens to understanding the politics, policies and people that shape our fascinating yet frustrating political landscape. Her areas of expertise include immigration, Latinos, women, political psych, & elections.

Dr. Victoria M. DeFrancesco Soto
Dr. Victoria M. DeFrancesco Soto

Recent Media

This post first appeared on NBCNews.com.

Arizona is synonymous with immigration drama. There was SB 1070 in 2010 and the infamous antics of the convicted former Sheriff Joe Arpaio. So when President Trump arrived at the Phoenix convention center for his rally, it was a safe bet he’d serve up some immigration red meat.

There was immigration red meat, but unlike other rallies Trump has held in Arizona it wasn’t the main course. Let’s say immigration was a healthy-sized side portion.

Of his 77 minute speech the majority of his time was spent bashing the media and the two home state Republican Senators, Senator John McCain and Senator Jeff Flake. The President feels personally offended at what he believes is an unfair characterization of his Charlottesville response.

Then there’s President Trump’s personal beef with the Arizona GOP Senators. Recently Senator Jeff Flake released a book were he essentially bashes the president. Then there’s Senator McCain’s vote against repealing Obamacare. The Arizona Senators don’t like Trump and Trump doesn’t like them, a point that was resoundingly clear last night.

Beyond settling his personal scores with the media and the Arizona senators Trump did not disappoint in his immigration message. Close to a year ago Donald Trump stood in that same Phoenix convention center laying out his plan to build the border wall and restrict immigration. (more…)

This piece originally appeared on NBCNews.com

AUSTIN, Texas – No more gaming the system; no more showing up and getting a handout the very next day. In his most recent weekly address President Donald Trump pledged to stop immigrant green card holders from accessing welfare upon their arrival by putting a five-year moratorium on public assistance.

There’s just one problem. Strict restrictions on welfare benefits, including the five-year wait time for immigrants have been in place for over 20 years.

 How can you propose a policy change if that specific proposal is already public policy?

First, a little background on immigration and welfare benefits. In1996 there was a major revamping of federally funded public aid eligibility. The Personal Responsibility and Work Reconciliation Act dramatically curtailed public assistance. And within this major welfare reform there was a specific set of limitations targeted to legal immigrants, otherwise known as long-term permanent residents (LPRs) or green card holders. (more…)