Despite Laws Prohibiting It, Central American Public Charges Come, Stay, Collect

Published on November 5th, 2015

A CAPS homepage story featured an Associated Press article which revealed that Department of Homeland Security efforts to dissuade Central American and Mexican border crossers have mostly failed.

Obama disregards public charge concept.
Obama disregards public charge concept.

AP described the U.S. public relations campaign to spread the word in Central America that illegal immigrants would not be allowed to stay as “massive.” A better word would be “token.” According to interview summaries that AP obtained, U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Intelligence said that hundreds of people traveling as part of families repeatedly cited opportunities to obtain permission to stay in the U.S., claim asylum and to eventually receive welfare benefits.

The Central Americans know that no matter what Obama’s representatives may say about enforcement, their friends and relatives who came illegally to the U.S. have not returned home, but have instead received “permisos” that allow them to stay until their assigned immigration court date. Nearly 90 percent of those who are issued what border patrol agents call “run letters” ignore them. Aliens know that, to quote the old chestnut, actions speak louder than words. And, south of the border, good news about the United States’ open borders travels fast.

Aliens also know that benefits they’re not entitled to will be doled out anyway. Two years ago, Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions learned that the law which excludes immigrants from entry if they may become public charges is routinely disregarded. Even though ample evidence exists that many illegal immigrants take advantage of welfare benefits, Sessions found that in 2012 the government did not identify a single immigrant as being a public charge. Instead, the Obama administration is going out of its way to help immigrants navigate the social services maze through its website, Welcome to USA.gov. The site is designed to help immigrants navigate “a range of assistance programs.”

Today, many immigrants are immediately placed in various welfare programs, starting with food stamps. Some will remain public charges indefinitely, possibly for generations. No one should be surprised when the border surge continues year after year. Staying home isn’t as rewarding as coming to the U.S.

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