One of the topics that infuriates most Americans is the entire idea that illegals get any sort of welfare benefits.  Even more infuriating is the idea that actual Americans are being by-passed as illegals get welfare benefits.  In their July 2016 newsletter, the Center for Immigration Studies outlines how this happens in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) formerly – and popularly – known as “food stamps.”

The Food Stamp program is technically a federal one sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).  How it works is that the federal government provides the cash, sends it to the states, and then the states decide if the program is controlled at the state or county level.  There seems to be no real rhyme or reason to the states controlling it one way or another.  THEN – and this is where the rubber meets the road – the STATES have the option of pro-rating the benefits depending on whether or not the household breadwinner is an “ineligible” alien.

Let’s say that the all-citizen family consisted of three people, employed father, stay-at-home mother, and a small child. Dad makes $2,400 a month. The family’s income is too high for food stamps since the maximum monthly income is $2,177 for a family of three.

Then next door there is a mixed family, also three people, with the father being the only worker, also earning $2,400 a month. The difference is that the father is an ineligible alien and so, under many states’ regulations, one-third of the family’s income is ignored (prorated is the word in SNAP circles), leaving the family with a nominal income of $1,600 a month that allows the family to get a food stamps allotment, but only for the two citizens, not for all three in the family.

Pretty slick, huh?  Regardless of how many people are in the household, with less income being counted, the benefit allotment is higher.

According to the Center for Immigration Studies, there are a handful of states that DO NOT pro-rate food stamp eligibility for “ineligible aliens.”  “…the six dissenters are Arizona, Guam, Massachusetts, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Utah.2 (Each of these jurisdictions, incidentally, has a Republican governor.)”   There is legitimate speculation on whether or not governors and members of state legislature chambers are fully aware of how the food stamp system works, but there is no doubt that it is complicated and exploited by the people who benefit.

In the overall scheme of things, the number of illegals, uh, ineligibles benefiting from food stamps pales in comparison to the number of citizens who receive help.  However, there is a time limit.  After five years, the pro-rating system no longer applies.

There are two groups of alien workers whose families get this preferential treatment: illegal aliens and most aliens whose green cards are less than five years old. These two groups are treated the same in all but two states (California and Oregon, where the second group is favored) and we will call all of them ineligible aliens.

The “need” may still be present, but the higher the income, the fewer benefits any one family receives.  The pro-rating only really benefits higher income families with one illegal breadwinner.

The proration formula is inherently unfair to the citizen family (or a family of eligible green card holders) as the system gives tax dollars to one family and not the other because the benefitting family has an ineligible alien as the breadwinner. It is biased against those here legally, and biased in favor of those whose presence is against the law (or who have secured their green cards quite recently.)

And that is the problem.

According to the CIS report, this rule has been in place for a number of years.  SNAP information is not forthcoming on how long this has been the case, but one thing is for sure, the welfare and food stamps benefit system does have loopholes that can be exploited by illegal aliens.  If loopholes exists, humans will find them and make them work to an advantage.

H/T –

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About the Author

Cultural Limits
A resident of Flyover Country, Cultural Limits is a rare creature in American Conservatism - committed to not just small government, Christianity and traditional social roles, but non-profits and high arts and culture. Watching politics, observing human behavior and writing are all long-time interests. In her other life, CL writes romance novels under her nom de plume, Patricia Holden (@PatriciaHoldenAuthor on Facebook), and crochets like a mad woman (designs can be found on Facebook @BohemianFlairCrochet and on Pinterest on the Bohemian Flair Crochet board). In religion, CL is Catholic; in work, the jill of all trades when it comes to fundraising software manipulation and event planning; in play, a classically trained soprano and proud citizen of Cardinal Nation, although, during hockey season, Bleeds Blue. She lives in the Mid-Mississippi River Valley with family and two cute and charming tyrants...make that toy dogs.