Welfare limits left poor adrift as recession hit

by Jason DeParle

An illegal immigrant from Mexico, above, the mother of four American-born children, started redeeming bottles and cans in Phoenix after she lost her $164 monthly welfare aid. Photo: Joshua Lott/New York Times

PHOENIX — Perhaps no law in the past generation has drawn more praise than the drive to “end welfare as we know it,” which joined the late-’90s economic boom to send caseloads plunging, employment rates rising and officials of both parties hailing the virtues of tough love.