A WND review of the Senate’s immigration reform bill finds illegal aliens who are granted temporary provisional status will be able to obtain a litany of state public benefits, including state-run health care.
The discovery is contrary to claims by proponents of the immigration reform bill who have repeatedly insisted the newly legalized residents will not be eligible for public funds.
In a commercial that ran on television and talk radio promoting the legislation, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., implied the illegal aliens covered in the bill will not receive public benefits.
“No food stamps, no welfare, no Obamacare,” Rubio stated. “They’re gonna have to wait 13 years, they’re gonna have to pay fines, they’re gonna to have to learn English, they’re gonna to have to work, their gonna have to wait in the back of the line.”
Last month, a USA Today editorial was titled “Immigration bill plenty strict on benefits: Our view.”
The editorial said “it’s no surprise that the immigration bill pending in the Senate this week takes a hard line on benefits for the 11 million or so undocumented workers in this country.”
“They would have to wait 10 years before they can get green cards. During that time, they would get no federal, means-tested benefits. No Medicaid. No food stamps. No ObamaCare subsidies. Nothing.”
The newspaper accurately reported the immigration bill denies federal, means-tested benefits.
However, it failed to inform of the possibility of the newly legalized residents obtaining state benefits that do not require full U.S. citizenship.
Regarding public benefits, the immigration bill states that registered provisional immigrants are “not eligible for any Federal means-tested public benefit.”
A registered provisional immigrant is an illegal alien who fills out all required paper work and meets the bill’s qualifications for eventual permanent residency.
Another section of the bill, reviewed by WND, states that all registered provisional immigrants will be given Social Security numbers.
A Social Security number will allow provisional immigrants to fulfill the documentation requirements to obtain state driver’s licenses or identification cards, which could then allow access to state benefits by claiming state residency.
In California, for example, to obtain a driver’s license an individual needs a Social Security card and proof of a “legal presence” in the country.
According to the immigration bill, the provisional immigrants will be provided a document proving legal presence.
The government website benefits.gov provides a breakdown of all benefits available in each state, including those that do not require full citizenship but only legalized status.
In California, provisional immigrants may be able to obtain the following benefits:
- Med-Cal, California’s Medicaid health care program. The Med-Cal application, reviewed by WND, states “documented and undocumented aliens may be eligible for Medi-Cal.”
- CalWORKs, a welfare program that gives cash aid and services to eligible needy California families. The program is open to “legal aliens.”
- Head Start, which provides comprehensive developmental services for low-income children from birth to entry into elementary school.
- California Healthy Families, a low cost insurance for California children and teens.
- California Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which provides low-income persons financial assistance to offset the costs of heating and/or cooling dwellings, and/or have their dwellings weatherized to make them more energy efficient.
- California National School Breakfast and Lunch Program, which provides “nutritious meals and milk to children at reasonable prices or free to qualified applicants.”
- California Special Milk Program, which assists schools and other agencies in providing milk to children at reasonable prices.
- California unemployment insurance benefits to unemployed workers who worked for at least 12 months.
- California Weatherization Assistance Program, which reduces heating and cooling costs for low-income families by improving the energy efficiency of their homes and ensuring their health and safety.