Dr. Victoria M. DeFrancesco Soto

Dr. Victoria M. DeFrancesco Soto


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→


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 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…)

This piece originally appeared on NBCNews.com

Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy (RAISE), the immigration proposal that got resounding support from President Donald Trump, has a nice ring to it. But it’s a flat out lie.

The RAISE Act proposes to slash legal immigration to the United States by half. The promised result – strengthening the American economy – is supposed to happen because, as its drafters explain it, the reduction of legal immigrants directly translates into the employment of native-born Americans.

If only saving American jobs were as easy as a one-to-one translation: one fewer immigrant equals one more employed native-born American.

According to its supporters, in just the first year of the proposal, legal immigration would decrease by 637,960. So, by the administration’s calculations, we should be seeing a 637,960 job increase among native-born Americans.

It’s not that easy. And beyond that, the RAISE Act would push American jobs abroad and would boost undocumented immigration. Put it all together and the American economy becomes weaker, not stronger. (more…)