By Rick Oltman, May 24, 2019
On Thursday, May 23, President Trump signed a Presidential “Memorandum on Enforcing the Legal Responsibilities of Sponsors of Aliens,” which will enforce existing restrictions on welfare use by non-citizens.
Sponsors of non-citizens legally assume the responsibility for the welfare benefits they receive.
Agencies have been direted to provide guidance on recovering “income-based welfare payments” from the sponsor of the non-citizen.
The legislation mandating sponsor responsibility was signed in 1996 by President Bill Clinton as part of the “Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996.”
With a few exceptions, most immigrants, including illegal aliens, temporary residents, and those who are lawfully present in the U.S., are considered “not qualified” for public benefits.
If the provision of the ‘96 law calling for the reimbursement of taxpayer funded welfare payments from the sponsors of legal immigrants has ever been enforced by Presidents Clinton, Bush or Obama in the last 23 years, I am not aware of it.
The Fact Sheet which accompanies the Presidential Memorandum spells it out clearly:
ABUSE OF THE WELFARE SYSTEM: Rampant welfare abuse by non-citizens is straining the social safety net and jeopardizing benefits needed by the most vulnerable American citizens.
Vast numbers of non-citizens and their families take advantage of our welfare programs.
- 78 percent of households headed by a non-citizen with no more than a high school education use at least one welfare program.
- 58 percent of all households headed by a non-citizen use at least one welfare program.
- 50 percent of all non-citizen headed households include at least one person who receives health insurance through Medicaid.
The Memorandum is quite detailed and requires:
(c) To the extent appropriate and consistent with law, the Secretaries of Agriculture and Health and Human Services and the Commissioner of Social Security shall coordinate with the Secretary of the Treasury to establish information-sharing procedures with the Treasury Offset Program (31 CFR 285.5) to ensure collection is ordered by letters of reimbursement.
This coordination between departments could include use of E-Verify and No-Match Letters to quickly identify ineligible welfare recipients.
And, if the letters of reimbursement to the sponsors do not result in repayment,
(d) The Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall refer all cases in which financial sponsors fail to satisfy their statutory reimbursement obligations to the Attorney General for enforcement of such statutory reimbursement obligation (8 U.S.C. 1183a(b)(2), (e)).
There is no indication that the collection will be retroactive, although it does seem logical, the PRWORA has been on the books for 23 years. And during those 23 years since its passage, America has welcomed, on average, over 1 million legal immigrants per year. And at least that many illegal aliens have sneaked into our country during the same period.
So, it is possible that the percentages cited above could represent a user base exceeding 50 million “not-qualified” people, at the very least.
The tax-payer benefits used by illegal aliens won’t be recoverable, unfortunately. But any discouraging message sent to potential illegal aliens can be beneficial in reducing future numbers.
The Fact Sheet concludes with an encouraging statement:
MERIT-BASED IMMIGRATION: This is the latest step by the Trump Administration to ensure that those coming to our country are self-sufficient and do not strain our public resources.
You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life. [Winston Churchill.]
Please visit our Facebook page, leave a comment and share with friends and family.