Despite Attorney General Janet Mills’s assertion that illegal immigrants should be eligible for taxpayer assistance, Maine is set to stop the practice.
The Maine Department of Health and Human Services “says it will enforce its plan to eliminate state support for undocumented immigrants who apply for or receive General Assistance benefits.”
About 1,000 illegal immigrants currently receive payments from Maine’s “General Assistance” fund, according to the Press Herald.
A spokesperson for the DHHS said the move “will apply to any immigrant who doesn’t have proper documentation.” Although the state will stop funding illegal aliens, municipalities are welcome to set up their own programs, just without assistance from the state. The local clerks who take applications for the general assistance fund “are not trained” to “determine which immigrants are ‘illegal,'” argued Mills.
One would think that it is not rocket science to check for a valid Social Security number.
Portland Mayor Michael Brennan is not happy about the decision, saying that “hundreds of people…will be left homeless and without food.” Attorney General Mills said that it was “unconstitutional” to halt the program.
Zachary Heiden of the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine called the action “shocking” and encouraged municipalities to “ignore” the rule, as reported at the Bangor Daily News.
Do Americans support public funds for illegal immigrants?
It is unlikely that most Americans would agree with public assistance for people who are living in the United States illegally, yet the majority of families without legal status take advantage of taxpayer-funded welfare programs, not surprisingly.
These numbers jump when illegal immigrants have children, according to the Center for Immigration studies.
Using data from 2009, the report found:
“57 percent of households headed by an immigrant (legal and illegal) with children (under 18) used at least one welfare program, compared to 39 percent for native households with children.”
The numbers jump even higher when the immigrants (legal and illegal) come from “the Dominican Republic (82 percent), Mexico and Guatemala (75 percent), and Ecuador (70 percent).” Immigrants from the United Kingdom (7 percent), India (19 percent), Canada (23 percent), and Korea (25 percent) are even less likely to take advantage of welfare programs than Americans (39 percent).
As evidenced by this chart from the Heritage Foundation, “84 percent of unlawful immigrants came from Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central or South America; 11 percent came from Asia; and 5 percent came from the rest of the world.”
These numbers were from 2009 and 2010. They were likely low then. Considering that America is currently experiencing an “influx of unaccompanied minors” from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, as reported by the CBS affiliate in Washington, it is likely that the number have ballooned even higher, as the unintentional (or orchestrated) consequence of Obama’s decision to relax immigration laws without congressional approval in June, 2012.
What public services are used by illegal immigrants?
According to Kaiser Health News, Medicaid “has long paid about $2 billion a year for emergency treatment for a group of patients who, according to hospitals, mostly comprise illegal immigrants.” The fund is called “Emergency Medicaid” and 99% of the recipients are illegal immigrants.
In a particularly egregious “report” published last year from freegovernmentcellphones.net (which is dedicated to President Obama), the authors give tips to “undocumented immigrants” for obtaining all sorts of welfare services.
“In theory,” the authors write,”yes, it’s illegal.” However, they continue, “…federal and state governments are looking the other way and providing millions of undocumented immigrants with these benefits.”
The authors give all sorts of “advice” for illegal immigrants to obtain taxpayer-funded welfare benefits, oftentimes observing that the government programs are poorly run and improperly monitored.
According to a 2013 report from CATO, illegal immigrants are “almost twice as likely to have low incomes compared with citizens.” The report finds that “one in five non-citizens” living below the poverty line receive Medicaid. Among low-income adults, “29 percent of non-citizens received SNAP benefits in 2011.” The report notes that “that children in households with non-citizen family members are less likely to be in households receiving cash assistance or SSI than citizen children living in full-citizen households.”
Considering it is illegal, that makes sense.