Radical leftist freshman Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) has announced plans to introduce a package of five bills that she claims will address a singular goal: combating economic inequality.
Dubbed “A Just Society,” the package includes one bill – The Embrace Act – that would allow all 14.3 million illegal aliens in the United States to access welfare previously guaranteed only to American citizens and legal permanent residents pursuing naturalization. This would place an undue burden on our rapidly depleting social safety net to care for people who have no legal right to remain in the country. To allow illegal aliens to benefit from these programs would be a slap in the face of our elderly, poor, and disabled citizens.
The Embrace Act is short. It reads:
“An individual who is an alien (without regard to the immigration status of that alien) may not be denied any Federal public benefit solely on the basis of that individual’s immigration status.”
It further defines the term “public benefit” as any,
“retirement, welfare, health, disability, public or assisted housing, postsecondary education, food assistance, unemployment benefit, or any other similar benefit for which payments or assistance are provided to an individual, household, or family eligibility unit by an agency of the United States or by appropriated funds of the United States.”
This bill proposes a shocking expansion of welfare eligibility. Already, illegal aliens produce, at the least, a $116 billion net fiscal burden on the United States. That is without access to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. Often, both legal and illegal aliens indirectly benefit from these programs if they have U.S.-born children in the household. Expanding their access to draw from the social safety net would undermine its solvency and hasten its demise. That is, unless Congress were to dramatically increase taxes on the upper and middle class – hard working Americans who fund these programs through payroll taxes.
This bill – like the rest of the Just Society package – is a messaging tool for Rep. Ocasio-Cortez to flex her far left, socialist credentials on the eve of an upcoming election. But it opens a dangerous precedent. If a party trend-setter like AOC is open to giving all illegal aliens access to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, who might follow her? She already moved the barometer for controversial opinions like abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Could the Just Society package influence the party’s official platform when they convene in Milwaukee for the 2020 Democratic National Convention? It is unclear, but not outside the realm of possibility. The Democrats of yesterday may have called for strict border enforcement, but the Democrats of today and tomorrow are calling for our government to grant illegal aliens access to welfare.