As Immigrants Drop Food Stamps, California Counties Sue Over Public-Charge Rules

In the months since the Trump administration announced rules pertaining to immigrants who are likely to become, or who are, “public charges,” two Northern California counties recorded notable declines in benefit enrollments.

San Francisco and Santa Clara counties reported that use of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps) by immigrant households declined 12.8 percent and 20 percent respectively. San Francisco also said Medicaid participation by immigrant households dropped 13.5 percent.

The counties cited the statistics in a U.S. District Court filing as evidence of “irreparable harm” from pending public-charge rules. Seeking to block the rules, local officials called them “arbitrary,” “capricious,” “irrational” and other nasty things.

Such hyperbole is over the top. Despite claims that the administration is pursuing a “radical expansion” of the definition of a public charge, the new rules fully exempt asylum-seekers and refugees.

In fact, the rules are consistent with the spirit and letter of long-standing public-charge laws. As FAIR points out:

  • Bans on immigrants likely to become a public charge date back to the days of colonial Massachusetts, and were first enacted into U.S. immigration law in 1882.  Restrictions were reinforced in the 1952 Immigration and Nationality Act, the current basis of the nation’s immigration laws.
  • In 1996, Congress reiterated its desire to bar those likely to become a public charge, noting that immigrants should arrive self-sufficient.

Today, however, nearly half of all immigrant-led households are on some form of public assistance (versus 30 percent of native households).

Instead celebrating immigrants’ strides toward self-support, Bay Area bureaucrats are clamoring to keep caseloads up. Americans are rightfully concerned about a public-assistance system that fosters dependency on handouts.

In an area where one in three residents is foreign-born, San Francisco and Santa Clara officials say they will “have to spend extra resources on outreach and education so people will not stop accessing services.”

That’s a choice localities can make at their own expense. It’s Washington’s job to ensure and enforce sensible immigration policies for this country.

To accurately identify those who are, or would become, a public charge, the administration’s new rules reasonably require immigration caseworkers to consider non-cash benefits such as government housing, food and health care (including diagnosed conditions that require extensive medical treatment). Income levels and language skills are also factored in.

In an age of ever-growing government entitlements, Americans are entitled to government policies that responsibly determine the ultimate reward: U.S. green cards and citizenship. It seems that some Bay Area immigrants got the message.

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  1. Pingback: While immigrants issue food stamps, the Californian districts sue the editions of the public Us Immigration - Amazing Reveal

  2. avatar

    No, it’s such a great word, short and to the point. Everyone knows what NO means.
    Even Dogs and Cats understand it’s meaning.
    So WHAT is wrong with Congress?

  3. avatar

    Back in 1956 when i immigrated legally to the USA from England. I had to fill in all necessary papers & pay fees regarding my application to file to immigrate to the USA,
    I had health checks , vaccinated , Interviewed at the American embassy in London etc. etc
    My husband who was an American citizen stationed with the American Air Force at that time had sign that he would be responsible for any & all bills on entering the USA as long as I was a legal visa resident of the USA.
    That I was not illegible for any benefits.
    We were also informed of all these rules & laws at the time of our marriage
    Also at that time of our marriage that if I wanted to join or accompany my husband to the USA. I had to file under normal immigration rules to be accepted to the USA . That did not mean that I would be accepted

  4. avatar

    Immigrants are given Loans to buy a small grocery store or fast food restaurant. within 2 years the store is emptied of all saleable contents & the people responsible run out on their thousands of dollars loan!! Taxpayer money Not used for citizens!!?? True story!!!!!!

  5. avatar

    “Today, however, nearly half of immigrant-led households are on some form of public assistance {versus 30% of native households}.” from above article.

    Not according to Laura Collins of the George W. Bush Institute. According to her “They use them at lower rates than native-born Americans.” Not remotely true. For one instance, Hispanics make up one out of three Medicaid {not Medicare} recipients, double their percentage of the population. Half of Hispanic children are on it. Are all those “immigrants” per se? Probably not but a large percentage must be either direct immigrants and/or their US born children. To pretend this is not a substantial burden to the taxpayer is denial of the highest order. But when the name Bush is attached that means open borders.

  6. avatar

    A small but noticeable number of aliens decide they really don’t need food stamps. Dem’s tell us the Sky is Falling. Who’s surprised?

  7. Pingback: As Immigrants Drop Food Stamps, California Counties Sue Over Public- Charge Rules – The Importance of Business

  8. avatar

    Any thing that an illegal receives from the tax payers money is a public charge. Read the immigration laws and the constitution. Enforce the law as it is written and no more free loaders and asylum seekers. Charity begins at home and Lord knows we have plenty of our own to worry about and support