American kids denied food stamps in Alabama under immigration law

Welshtaff 2012/02/08 02:17:48

Protesters outside the Alabama statehouse in November. (AP/Dave Martin)Some U.S.-born children with parents who are illegal immigrants have been denied food stamps under Alabama's new immigration law, Southern Poverty Law Center President Richard Cohen told Yahoo News on Monday.

Five people have called into the group's Alabama hotline to say they were denied food stamps because they couldn't prove they were legal residents, even though the food stamps are for their children, who are citizens.

Cohen says the civil rights group, which has already filed two lawsuits against Alabama over the law, will most likely bring another suit over the denied food stamps.

The law makes it a felony for a government employee to engage in "business transactions" with illegal immigrants, which some government employees have interpreted very broadly. Illegal immigrants have been told they can't pay their utility bills or even their taxes because it would count as a "transaction" with the government, according to Cohen.

Barry Spear, a spokesman for Alabama's Department of Human Services, said in an email to Yahoo News that it is not the agency's policy to demand proof of citizenship from the guardians of Americans who need food stamps. "We are unaware of any violations of the policy," Spear said.

Several parts of the law have been temporarily blocked pending the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals decision on whether the law is constitutional or not. But the "business transaction" prohibition, as well as a mandate for local police to ask for proof of legal status during stops, were left to stand. Some Republican lawmakers say they want to amend the law this year, while a coalition of Democrats is trying to repeal it entirely.

Illegal immigrants are prohibited from accessing most welfare benefits, including food stamps, non-emergency Medicaid and cash welfare programs. Their children, if born in America, can access welfare programs as citizens. (The Pew Hispanic Center estimates that about 4.5 million American citizens under 18 years old have at least one undocumented parent.)

Last month, Kansas kicked more than 1,000 mixed-status families off its food stamp program when it joined three other states in adopting a stricter food stamp eligibility policy. A low-income family of five made up of two undocumented parents and three citizen children now has to show that its income is close to the poverty level for a family of three--not a family of five--in order to access food stamps. This is intended to prevent illegal immigrants from benefiting from food stamps, but immigration advocates say it will leave citizen kids hungry.

The Justice Department has sued Arizona, Alabama, South Carolina and Utah over laws that crack down on illegal immigrants, saying they interfere with the federal government's control over immigration. The Supreme Court will hear arguments over Arizona's SB1070 beginning on April 25.

Read More: http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/american-kids-...

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  • jumpboots 187th PIR 2015/04/11 21:50:53
    jumpboots 187th PIR
    Given free stuff to the illegals will cost the tax payers over 8 billion dollars a year.
  • Sodahead Founders are Fascists 2012/05/25 00:33:19
    Sodahead Founders are Fascists
    "And if a stranger dwells with you in your land, you shall not mistreat him. 'The stranger who dwells among you shall be to you as one born among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God."

    Leviticus 19:33-34
  • mg's haven~POTL~PWCM~JLA 2012/02/09 03:06:14 (edited)
    mg's haven~POTL~PWCM~JLA
    I am no fan of the anchor baby Any other country would have sent both parents and baby back where the parents came from, so this is a non topic for me. Now, i can see if the kid comes back after turning 18 to join the rest of the legal citizens in receiving thosed programs. But the system as we know will only bankrupt this country as if we arent headed there fast enough already.
  • Dagon 2012/02/09 01:16:09
  • Striker 2012/02/09 01:04:19
    Where in the Constitution are food stamps, welfare, unemployment benefits, or illegals permitted?
  • keeper 2012/02/09 00:53:38
    The illegal parents do not belong in the US...
  • LisaSmith 2012/02/09 00:22:01 (edited)
    I thought the illegals just wanted to work? It looks all they really want to do is collect welfare.
  • Elephant Lord 2012/02/08 05:46:29
    Elephant Lord
    This is what you get when you pass laws without thinking. And by the way, the anchor baby law is part of the constitution, so yeah...
  • Gracie - Proud Conservative 2012/02/08 02:38:40
    Gracie - Proud Conservative
    Since when do CHILDREN get food stamps? I thought their parents were the ones who received them for their children. Maybe they need to go home so they can get a job legally and feed their children. Just because you squatted and had your baby here doesn't mean American taxpayers should raise them.
  • Rusty Bubbles 2012/02/08 02:32:33
    Rusty Bubbles
    Anchors away~!
  • The Govenor 2012/02/08 02:27:12

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