Senate immigration bill grants litany of public benefits
American citizens may soon find themselves competing with illegal aliens to secure government student loans and federal work-study assistance.
A WND review of the Senate’s immigration reform bill finds the legislation allows illegal aliens who are granted provisional status and who initially entered the United States before reaching 16 years of age to secure both federal student loans and federal work-study programs.
The provisional citizens would still need to meet the academic requirements necessary to obtain the aid.
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.
The student financial assistance is not the only public benefits allowable under the legislation.
As WND reported, illegal aliens who are granted temporary provisional status will also be able to obtain a litany of state public benefits, including state-run health care.
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 lower 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.