Apr 30 2013
“I hope the Gang’s members will propose or support amendments to address the legislation’s enormous federal costs and to ensure that illegal immigrants will not become dependent on already-burdened state and local benefit programs.”
WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee, issued the following statement today regarding a number of identified loopholes in the Gang of Eight bill that will allow illegal immigrants to access public benefits far sooner than the advertised 13-year timeframe:
"The Gang of Eight made a promise that illegal immigrants will not be able to access public benefits. We already know that, once granted green cards and ultimately citizenship, illegal immigrants will be able to access all public benefit programs at a great cost to taxpayers. We have, however, identified a number of loopholes that would allow illegal immigrants to draw public benefits even sooner than advertised. Millions of those newly legalized will have steady access to federal benefits through their households, and will have access to all taxpayer aid once they become citizens in as soon as five years. Moreover, those who are granted RPI status who are unable to support themselves could have immediate access to local and state benefit programs. Dozens of states currently offer public benefits to ‘lawfully present’ aliens, and illegal immigrants seeking RPI status are not precluded from using them. Taxpayers will be surprised to learn that there is no requirement in this legislation that illegal immigrants who apply for RPI status certify work or education. DHS is actually prohibited from evaluating whether applicants are able to financially support themselves before legal status is first granted.
This is just one more example of the legislation not living up the commitments that were made. However, this bill has been described as a ‘starting point’ and so I hope the Gang’s members will propose or support amendments to address the legislation’s enormous federal costs and to ensure that illegal immigrants will not become dependent on already-burdened state and local benefit programs."