Oh Snap… Food Stamp Program Continues to Cause Problems

By  Center for Immigration Studies, Special for  USDR

A recent report by the Center for Immigration Studies reveals that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), which distributes what used to be called food stamps, provides benefits to families with an illegal alien (or other ineligible alien) wage earner in it, while denying benefits to an identical family comprised of only U.S.  citizens.

Although two families may be identical in terms of income and family size, states have the option of including only part of the wages of an employed ineligible alien when calculating SNAP eligibility. Those states which do not count all the income of the ineligible aliens make it easier for a family with an illegal alien present to qualify for food stamps than for an identical all-citizen family. Ineligible aliens, in the food stamp program, are primarily illegal aliens and those green card holders who have been in that status for less than five  years.

David North, a fellow with the Center and author of the report, said, “A bias exists against those here legally when calculating eligibility for food stamps. This overt bias, which most legislators are probably not even aware of, translates into an estimated 1.4 billion dollar cost to tax  payers.”

View the entire report at:  http://cis.org/An-Aid-Program-that-Routinely-Discriminates-in-Favor-of-Ineligible-Aliens

Only six states or territories show no bias and include all family income: Arizona, Guam, Massachusetts, New Mexico, North Carolina, and  Utah.

The majority of states employ a “proration” policy posture, meaning families including an employed ineligible alien can secure food stamps when an all-citizen family of the same size and with the same income would be denied the benefits. States are not incentivized to change their proration policy as the federal government pays for SNAP, not the state  governments.

The proration formula is inherently unfair to the citizen family, and it also comes with a price tag. The Center calculated the cost of this proration policy and found that well over one billion dollars was being unnecessarily  spent.

SOURCE Center for Immigration  Studies

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