Illegal aliens who get President Barack Obama’s likely forthcoming executive amnesty will have immediate access to welfare and other public benefits, according to a new report from the Federation of American Immigration Reform (FAIR) exclusively provided to Breitbart News ahead of its public release shows.
“Obama’s executive amnesty isn’t only unconstitutional but costly; from day one it opens up federal and state benefits to individuals who are still illegal aliens, regardless of the label the President puts on them,” FAIR executive director Julie Kirchner told Breitbart News.
“Deferred action and parole-in-place don’t fit neatly into statutory definitions that prohibit access to benefits, mostly because deferred action and parole-in-place have no statutory basis themselves,” FAIR communications director Bob Dane added. “Congress has never imagined a rouge president pulling rabbits out of a hat to justify a broad, transformational makeover of the country by way of amnesty. There will always be thousands of loopholes in the law and backdoor methods to achieve a desired agenda, but ultimately the intent of Congress is preeminent. It may be that the courts will have to review that.”
It’s likely that the administration will attempt to downplay access executive amnestied illegal aliens will have to public benefits in the wake of the president’s announcement since Republicans will seize on the issue to discredit the president’s efforts. It’s a wildly politically successful issue for Republicans, as even Massachusetts’ Republican Governor-elect Charlie Baker ran on making sure Americans are taken care of with public benefits rather than giving them to illegal immigrants—as Democrats want to do.
Both Republicans and Democrats who supported the “Gang of Eight” bill in 2013 argued it wouldn’t allow access to public benefits for amnestied illegal aliens. But a series of reports from the office of now incoming Senate Budget Committee chairman Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and others detailed how it would in fact allow them to get benefits that normally go to Americans and legal immigrants. That seems to be the same thing that’s happening here, with the president’s forthcoming executive amnesty—assuming the president goes through with his stated plans.
The seven-page report from FAIR details how either of the two major mechanisms through which Obama would grant the executive amnesty to millions of illegal aliens would ultimately end up with those millions of illegal aliens taking U.S. taxpayer benefits away from struggling Americans almost immediately.
“While the President has been considering numerous options for his executive amnesty, there are two methods President Obama is expected to use in order to shield illegal aliens from deportation: parole and deferred action,” the report summary reads.
Obama could give the millions of illegal aliens “humanitarian parole,” something the FAIR report notes is included in statute as a power of the executive branch under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) for “temporary” protections for people from outside the United States. But the Bill Clinton administration in 1998, via a Department of Justice (DOJ) memo, expanded the meaning of “humanitarian parole” to illegal aliens inside the U.S. That memo did not have any “statutory or regulatory basis,” FAIR wrote, but Obama has used it to grant “parole in place to illegal aliens and is expected to expand this practice.”
If that’s how Obama grants executive amnesty to the millions of illegal aliens he plans to, they’ll get near-immediate access to welfare and other public benefits.
“Aliens with parole generally receive work authorization and are eligible for most benefits under federal law,” FAIR wrote. “This is true regardless of whether they have humanitarian parole or parole in place because the eligibility rules for benefits programs make no distinction between the two. Indeed, the longer an alien’s parole, the more benefits he is eligible to receive.”
Aliens paroled for less than a year are eligible for benefits such as Obamacare and unemployment. In the text of Obamacare, the report notes, Congress specifically restricts access to anyone “lawfully present” in the United States. But, the report notes, “regulations implementing the law define ‘lawfully present’ to include aliens with parole for less than one year.”
“Not only are aliens with parole for less than one year eligible for Obamacare, they are immediately eligible,” FAIR wrote. “Despite the fact that Obamacare might appear to be a ‘federal public benefit,’ and thus restricted to ‘qualified aliens’ and the five-year bar, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has not included it in the regulatory definition of either ‘federal public benefit’ or ‘federal means-tested public benefit.’”
As such, FAIR wrote, there is “no conflict” between Obamacare and the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) that specifies who is a “qualified alien” who can receive “federal public benefits.”
“This means that aliens may enroll if they are ‘lawfully present,’ and they are not required to be ‘qualified aliens’ nor wait five years to participate pursuant to the PRWORA restrictions,” FAIR wrote.
As for unemployment benefits, aliens with parole for less than a year are also eligible for those despite the fact that states administer unemployment benefits. That’s because state unemployment benefits are “based upon the Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA), which specifically says that aliens paroled into the U.S. for less than one year are eligible for unemployment benefits provided they otherwise meet the program’s other requirements.”
Such aliens who would get parole would also get immediate access to Social Security and Medicare benefits—meaning they could take Social Security or Medicare away from Americans—FAIR wrote, “so long as they meet other eligibility requirements.”
“By statute, Congress exempted retirement benefits under Social Security from the list of federal public benefits for which an alien must be a ‘qualified alien’ and wait five years for eligibility pursuant to PRWORA,” FAIR wrote. “Instead the Social Security Act only requires that aliens be ‘lawfully present.’ The regulation that defines ‘lawfully present’ for retirement benefits includes aliens paroled into the U.S. for less than one year.”
As for Medicare, the laws and regulations are similar to Social Security—meaning illegal aliens who would get parole status under an Obama amnesty would have almost immediate access to Medicare.
“Aliens with parole for less than a year are also eligible for Medicare,” FAIR wrote. “Medicare Part A (inpatient) benefits are available to aliens who are at least 65 years old and eligible for Social Security retirement (Title II) benefits if eligibility is based on authorized work history. As described above, aliens paroled into the U.S. for less than a year are eligible for retirement benefits under Social Security. Therefore, aliens with parole for less than one year who are eligible for Social Security based on authorized work history are eligible for Medicare Part A. In addition, individuals eligible for Medicare part A, including aliens with parole for less than a year, are also eligible for Medicare Part B (outpatient) and Part D (prescription drugs).”
Other public benefits such illegal aliens would have access to under Obama’s amnesty if he chooses the parole route are Medicaid and State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) benefits “in states that have opted to cover them” since Congress’ reauthorization of the relevant statute granted states “the option to offer health care benefits to ‘lawfully residing’ children (under the age of 21) and pregnant women through Medicaid and SCHIP.”
If Obama chooses to go the route of “deferred action,” another form of executive amnesty that has “no statutory basis,” the amnestied illegal aliens will have immediate access to Obamacare, Medicare and Social Security for the same reasons as they would under parole. They’d also, for the same reasons as parole, in some states be immediately eligible for Medicaid and SCHIP public benefits, according to the report.
The report authors note that Obama’s first major deferred action executive amnesty, the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) that many Republicans say caused the border crisis, had language excluding recipients of that amnesty from Obamacare.
“Although aliens with deferred action are generally eligible for Obamacare, there is one notable exception,” FAIR wrote. “In 2012, after the creation of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which dramatically expanded the number of individuals receiving deferred action, the Obama Administration decided to exclude DACA beneficiaries from eligibility for Obamacare (as well as state-based Medicaid and SCHIP programs) by issuing a new regulation.”
Even so, the FAIR report authors argue that such an exclusion would be impossible to duplicate in a wider executive amnesty given the regulations and laws on the books.
“The wording of the regulatory exception to Obamacare eligibility is significant,” FAIR wrote. “A new deferred action program, or even expansion of the DACA program, would likely not fall under the exclusion because it will not meet the requirement ‘as described in’ the Secretary of Homeland Security’s June 15, 2012 memorandum. Thus, the new grant of deferred action would make these illegal aliens eligible for all the benefits described above. Additionally, because DACA beneficiaries are barred from enrolling in Obamacare by regulation, not legislation, HHS could revoke the eligibility bar at any time.”