On the campaign trail, two of Trump’s main promises was to build a wall and to deport illegal immigrants. He later amended that to mean he will first go after the worst criminals among them, but that hasn’t stop the masses from being afraid they would all get deported.
Fast forward to current day where we’re seeing hundreds of illegals avoid that by dropping out of food stamp programs.
In San Francisco, local Human Services Agency director Trent Rhorer has noted that “households with one illegal” are wondering how much information will reach administration officials if they use food stamps, also known as CalFresh. Eligible families also wonder “whether the administration will cut food stamp benefits to immigrants.”
Rhorer is upset by the tension. He said, “Eligible families are putting their household in further jeopardy of not being able to pay the rent, or utility bills because they have to buy food. These are benefits they are entitled to receive, and they’re playing by the rules. They shouldn’t be penalized by this negative commentary coming out of the White House.”
In the last two months the number of households withdrawing from food stamps has been well above the norm. For example, the normal drop rate is less than 60 households a month, yet “150 households withdrew from the program in March and April alone.”
Officials at Manna Food Center in Montgomery County, Md., report that about 20 percent of the 561 families they have helped apply for food stamps in the past few months have asked that their cases be closed.
Maria Chavez, an outreach worker for Manna, says her immigrant clients are scared, especially if they’re unauthorized parents getting SNAP benefits for their eligible American children.
“They say, ‘I want to close my food stamp.’ And when I ask why, they say, ‘Because I am afraid that something will happen to me or they will deport me,’ ” says Chavez.
Jim Wengler, director of benefits access at Hunger Free New York City, says fewer immigrants have also been showing up recently at the 20 sites his group serves around the city. And he says some noncitizens — even those in the country legally — want all of their government benefits canceled, including Medicaid.
Luisa Fortin of the Chattanooga Food Bank said that since mid-January, five families have withdrawn from the SNAP program. One, the single mother of three citizen daughters, had fled to Georgia to escape an abusive husband. Another, two green-card holders with four young children, were thinking of taking on third jobs to compensate for the lost benefits. These families represent a small fraction of Fortin’s caseload of the estimated 200 immigrant families who signed up for SNAP over the past six months. Based on the calls she gets from other clients, she fears more cancellations are imminent.
In San Francisco, Trent Rhorer made the outlandish claim that they are entitled to these benefits because they played by the rules. When a person is here illegally it is impossible to have played by the rules and therefore, they are not ‘entitled’ to anything.
While that is a mere trickle of savings to the taxpayers, when we need a full flowing river, it is at least a start and it’s likely occurring in more cities.
In even better news, you may have seen this from February where the state of Maine dropped 9,000 people from their food stamp program because they refused to comply with the work order.
The rules prevent adults, who are not disabled and do not have dependents, from receiving food stamps for more than three months unless they work at least 20 hours a week, participate in a work-training program, or meet volunteer guidelines for 24 hours out of the month. Any one of those three minimums getting met will result in an individual to retain their SNAP food benefits. DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew said the goal of the requirements is to encourage people to find work.
In Maine, once someone loses their benefits, they cannot regain assistance for three years.
Kudos to President Trump for his stance on deporting illegals thereby discouraging them to continue sucking off the taxpayers. The same goes to Governor LePage for his aggressive approach in cutting their costs as well.