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Quick Takes: News You May Have Missed

Klein-Aaron

Illegal Aliens Will Receive
Benefits Under Senate Bill

Contrary to claims by proponents of the Senate immigration reform bill, illegal aliens who are granted temporary provisional status will be able to obtain a litany of state public benefits – including state-run health care – if the bill becomes law.

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.

But another section of the bill 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. Here is a sampling of just some benefits in California that provisional immigrants may be able to obtain:

● Med-Cal, California’s Medicaid health care program;

● 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 financial assistance to low-income populations to offset the costs of heating and/or cooling dwellings. Additionally, or alternatively, it weatherizes their dwellings 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.

Senate Immigration Bill
Increases Afghan Quota

The text of the Senate immigration reform bill contains a small section that increases more than threefold the number of Afghans eligible for immigration to the U.S. under a special asylum program, this column has learned.

The legislation also further expands the previously strict qualifications for immigration from Afghanistan and allows for more family members to join admitted asylum seekers.

Page 450 of the 1,190-page immigration bill amends what is known as the 2009 Afghan Special Immigrant Visa Program. That program, set to expire this year, is now extended to 2018 by the immigration bill.

The special program previously allotted up to 1,500 visas for Afghans each year. The new immigration bill increases the visa quota to up to 5,000 Afghans per year.

The strict requirements of the previous program granted visas only to Afghan nationals employed by, or on behalf of, the U.S. government in Afghanistan on or after Oct. 7, 2001, for a period of one year or more. All applicants were required to demonstrate that they faced security threats due to their employment with the U.S.

The immigration bill now extends the qualifications beyond only those employed by the U.S. government. It admits Afghans who worked for media or non-governmental organizations headquartered in the U.S.

Also now qualified are Afghans employed by “an organization or entity closely associated with the United States mission in Afghanistan that has received United States Government funding through an official and documented contract, award, grant, or cooperative agreement.”

The former program granted visas to the spouses of those who qualified for asylum as well as to unmarried children younger than age 21. The new bill now expands the asylum to siblings and parents.

‘Go To The Back Of The Line’?
Apparently Not For 1.76 Million Illegals

An estimated 1.76 million illegal aliens could be granted expedited permanent residency status if the Senate immigration reform bill becomes law.

One of the key selling points used by proponents of the bill is that undocumented aliens would have to go to the “back of the line” – meaning, they would not receive priority or gain advantage over immigrants in the country who are here legally and waiting for an immigration decision.

President Obama himself stated last January, “We’ve got to lay out a path – a process that includes passing a background check, paying taxes, paying a penalty, learning English, and then going to the back of the line, behind all the folks who are trying to come here legally. That’s only fair.”

However, the immigration reform bill allows for a “streamlined” application process for the illegal aliens covered under Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano’s June 2012 memorandum on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

The memorandum called for “prosecutorial discretion” to be used in implementing immigration law for those who:

● are under the age of 31 on June 15, 2012;

● have arrived to the United States before reaching their 16th birthday;

● continuously resided in the United States from June 15, 2007, to the present;

● have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

The Pew research Hispanic Center estimated that some 1.76 million illegal aliens can benefit from the memorandum.

About the Author: Aaron Klein is a New York Times bestselling author and senior reporter for WND.com. He is also host of an investigative radio program on New York's 970 AM Radio on Sundays from 7 to 9 p.m. Eastern. His website is KleinOnline.com.


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