Expert Discusses Immigration Status and ‘Belonging’

By Kevin Karami |

On the latest episode of Policy Chats, Benyamin Chao of the California Immigrant Policy Center (CIPC) discusses the challenges of implementing effective immigration policies in the current social climate. 

“If hundreds of thousands or millions of people in California get access to a pathway to citizenship, that also would allow them to qualify for federal safety net programs as well,” said Chao, the Health & Public Benefits Campaign Coordinator at CIPC. “And I think the fundamental question is ‘Who belongs in California’? And for me, I believe, that we are slowly helping people see that your immigration status does not affect whether or not you belong.”

The episode with Chao also covers other topics including the societal barriers of immigration policy, the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and his personal experiences as an immigrant. Listen to the episode here.


Launched in 2020, the UCR School of Public Policy podcast series explores current public policy issues with guests from throughout the policy world. Episodes are accessible via Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Anchor. More information is also available through the UCR School of Public Policy podcast page.

Media Contact:

Kevin Karami