Despite his moderate character, Mitt Romney could be the most conservative candidate we’ve had on immigration in over a decade. Regardless, immigration should be front and center because it is an economic issue. After all, our large welfare apparatus is one of the main reasons why immigrants flock to the United States. In addition, legal immigrants “take advantage of every available welfare program…which attributes it to low education level and resulting low income.” It’s the left-wing dependency agenda at work. It’s one of the many fiscal battles conservatives must remain headstrong and disciplined to get our nation back to fiscal health. According to Judicial Watch back in April of 2011, they cited a report from the Center for Immigration Studies that states:
The majority of households across the country benefitting from publicly-funded welfare programs are headed by immigrants, both legal and illegal. States where immigrant households with children have the highest welfare use rates are Arizona (62%), Texas, California and New York with 61% each and Pennsylvania(59%).The study focused on eight major welfare programs that cost the government $517 billion the year they were examined. They include Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for the disabled, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), a nutritional program known as Women, Infants and Children (WIC), food stamps, free/reduced school lunch, public housing and health insurance for the poor (Medicaid).Food assistance and Medicaid are the programs most commonly used by illegal immigrants, mainly on behalf of their American-born children who get automatic citizenship.
A large share of the welfare used by immigrant households with children is received on behalf of their U.S.-born children, who are American citizens. But even households with children comprised entirely of immigrants (no U.S.-born children) still had a welfare use rate of 56 percent in 2009.
We estimate that 52 percent of households with children headed by legal immigrants used at least one welfare program in 2009, compared to 71 percent for illegal immigrant households with children. Illegal immigrants generally receive benefits on behalf of their U.S.-born children
High welfare use by immigrant-headed households with children is partly explained by the low education level of many immigrants. Of households headed by an immigrant who has not graduated high school, 80 percent access the welfare system, compared to 25 percent for those headed by an immigrant who has at least a bachelor’s degree.
This ties into a multitude of issues- education, welfare, and entitlement reform. Now, I’m not anti-immingrant. In fact, our flow of immigration is what has kept our nation economically vibrant, while Europe decayed and became older and grayer. As an immigrant and naturalized American citizen, I support LEGAL immigration, but protecting our borders is an essential duty for a nation to maintain it’s territorial integrity.
Millions of people apply to immigrate to the United States and make new lives here and it could be months until the State Department approves your application. However, by issuing amnesty, it puts illegals at the front line. This is fundamentally unfair. If you find someone who can’t comprehend that it’s wrong to cut the lunch line, you know you’re talking to a liberal and that this person doesn’t understand basic ethics.
Regardless, the president has sought to make this problem worse by gutting welfare reform. In a presidential directive, courtesy of The Heritage Foundation, issued on July 12 indicates that the Obama Administration is circumventing work standards. In all:
The Obama Administration issued a new directive stating that the traditional TANF work requirements can be waived or overridden by a legal device called the section 1115 waiver authority under the Social Security law (42 U.S.C. 1315).
Section 1115 states that “the Secretary may waive compliance with any of the requirements” of specified parts of various laws. But this is not an open-ended authority: Any provision of law that can be waived under section 1115 must be listed in section 1115 itself. The work provisions of the TANF program are contained in section 407 (entitled, appropriately, “mandatory work requirements”). Critically, this section, as well as most other TANF requirements, are deliberately not listed in section 1115; they are not waiveable.
In establishing TANF, Congress deliberately exempted or shielded nearly all of the TANF program from the section 1115 waiver authority. They did not want the law to be rewritten at the whim of Health and Human Services (HHS) bureaucrats. Of the roughly 35 sections of the TANF law, only one is listed as waiveable under section 1115. This is section 402.
Section 402 describes state plans—reports that state governments must file to HHS describing the actions they will undertake to comply with the many requirements established in the other sections of the TANF law. The authority to waive section 402 provides the option to waive state reporting requirements only, not to overturn the core requirements of the TANF program contained in the other sections of the TANF law.
The new Obama dictate asserts that because the work requirements, established in section 407, are mentioned as an item that state governments must report about in section 402, all the work requirements can be waived. This removes the core of the TANF program; TANF becomes a blank slate that HHS bureaucrats and liberal state bureaucrats can rewrite at will.
As Heritage notes, President Obama will undercut a government reform that increased employment and decreased child poverty amongst affected groups.