Q&A of the Day – How illegal immigrants obtain government benefits – Part 2

Q&A of the Day – How illegal immigrants obtain government benefits – Part 2

Bottom Line: Twenty-six states enable undocumented individuals to obtain government assistance programs (Florida isn’t one of them). What’s more is that twenty of those states (and D.C.) have gone so far as to take federal assistance money, along with state resources, and recalibrate it under newly created state-run assistance programs. This enables them to do an end-around on the federal mandates for eligibility that’d exclude those not here legally. In other words, maybe an illegal immigrant can’t directly apply for SNAP, but in California they administer the “CalFreshFood Assistance program” (which is essentially the same thing and enabled for illegal immigrant access in the state). Here’s the breakdown of what’s available to illegal immigrants through this process:

  • Financial assistance: 23 states
  • Healthcare coverage 11 states 
  • Disability coverage 5 states
  • Food assistance 5 states

That should help answer most of your questions but much of what isn’t explained there comes up through child-birth. This is how illegal immigrants in states like Florida, which don’t have state policies enabling assistance for illegal immigrants, most commonly obtain them. According to CIS data...

  • 297,000 apox. births of illegal immigrants happen annually in the US (7.5% of all child births)
  • 16,000 children of illegal immigrants are born in Florida annually

Under existing law these children, born of illegal immigrants, are US citizens. That makes them legally eligible for a host of federal assistance programs. Naturally that assistance goes to the parent(s) of the child and voila. Other less common ways it happens include... Those who entered legally, obtained government assistance while here legally, lost status - but have continued on programs after they’d lost status. You also have cases of assumed/stolen ID/false ID’s. 

Putting it altogether you see how messy federal and state assistance is and how much opportunity there is for abuse and manipulation. This is widely known in South and Central American countries and what’s more is organizations like Pueblo Sin Fronteras organize and coach people to get in and get on them. Not only do I believe that we need better enforcement of immigration policy, immigration reform and the physical barriers called for at our southern border – we need welfare reforms to stop the abuse of American taxpayers. This also would help disincentivize illegal immigrants from entering the US. This country became the world’s leading super power through limited government, opportunity and hard work. Not through welfare. There’s a vast difference between limited safety nets for Americans in need and the welfare state we’ve created for Americans and illegal immigrants alike. Welfare isn’t compassion. Opportunity through freedom and the rule of law is compassionate.

 

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