DHS Admits It Does Not Track Immigrants Who Become Welfare Dependent, Pursued Zero Cases Last Year

Caroline May, Daily Caller, February 13, 2013

In a response letter to four top Republican lawmakers, the Department of Homeland Security revealed it initiated only one case against an immigrant for becoming a “public charge,” or being primarily dependent upon the government, in fiscal year 2012. The case was later withdrawn.

While the department’s response to Republican Sens. Jeff Sessions, Chuck Grassley, Orrin Hatch and Pat Roberts’ August oversight request offered an overview of the centuries-old federal public-charge restrictions, it noticeably avoided several of the senators’ direct questions and demonstrated potentially significant inadequacies in record-keeping by immigration officials, who legally should be enforcing public-charge rules for immigrants both inside and outside of the country.

The response, for example, failed to explain why immigrants are only assessed for their potential reliance on just two of the more than 80 federal means-tested welfare programs when the government determines if they are “public charges” prior to their entry into the U.S.—meaning that they are likely to become primarily dependent on federal aid for subsistence after arriving.

The DHS letter, penned by Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs Nelson Peacock, further failed to respond to the four Republican senators’ data requests pertaining to the total number of visa applicants from 2001-2011 that were denied on public-charge grounds, or numbers on those who were granted visas despite a public-charge finding.

DHS also did not reveal how many immigrants from 2001-2011 became public charges after obtaining a visa or entering the country.

The department did, however, admit it does not have the data on immigrants who become public charges after gaining entry or a visa—despite, as Peacock writes in his letter, the fact that aliens “may also be found deportable on public charge grounds in accordance [immigration law], but only if they became public charges within the first five years after entry for causes that have not been affirmatively shown to have arisen since entry.”


A case-by-case review of fiscal year 2012 data shows that only a single case that was brought up because an immigrant allegedly became a public charge after gaining a visa or entry to the country. Peacock noted, however, that the charge was later withdrawn.


Last fall, TheDC reported that  just .068 percent of the 10.37 million immigration applicants the State Department processed were found to be ineligible on public-charge grounds.

A Center for Immigration Studies analysis of Census Bureau data last August revealed that in 2010, 36 percent of immigrant-headed households were on at least one major welfare program, compared to 23 percent of native-headed households.

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  • The__Bobster

    Legal immigrants are huge users of social services. Soon the amnestied invaders will be, too. Funny how the MSM always fail to mention this in their boiler-plate sob stores.


    The federal government allows immigrants to enjoy America’s vast welfare
    safety net, from food stamps to housing benefits and Medicaid, and remain immune from repercussions to their immigration status. And on Monday, ranking Republican members of the Senate Finance, Agriculture, Budget, and Judiciary Committees wrote to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton demanding to
    know why.

    Immigration regulations prohibit individuals “likely to become primarily dependent on the government for subsistence” from legal admittance into the United States. But non-citizens can avail themselves of dozens of welfare programs without the federal government considering them a dependency risk.

    In government-speak, an individual likely to become reliant on the government
    for survival is termed a “public charge.” While there is a menu of over 80
    federal welfare programs in America, that status is triggered by reliance on two
    federal programs: Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Temporary Assistance
    for Needy Families (TANF).

    Section 212 of the Immigration and Nationality Act explains that immigrants
    are “inadmissible” to the United States if the U.S. Attorney General or any
    consular officer who interacts with them determines that he or she “is likely at any time to become a public charge.”

  • 48224

    ONLY a government workers can fail at their jobs and keep their jobs.

    Government agency = minority jobs program.

    • So CAL Snowman

      It’s important that they fail and that government itself fails because failure to the liberal lefties = MORE of YT’s $$$$$$$$$ to correct the mistakes!

      • Room101

        How many people that didn’t die in 911 get fired, if they were a government employee?
        Not one government employee got fired.
        The predictable response by a typical government failure, especially of such magnitude, is the creation of more government bureaucracies.
        Government is somehow able to market its cascading and exponential failures as a reason to “invest”.
        Or else.

    • Xerxes22

      They didn’t fail at their jobs. They were ordered not to do them. Just as IRS workers were ordered to ignore cases of tax fraud by illegals. Do you really think that the Obama administration wants these laws enforced?

      • 48224

        I stand corrected.

      • GeneticsareDestiny

        Yep, it’s this. The Obama administration has quietly, in the background, made it illegal for any law enforcement officials (including police officers, IRS workers, ICE workers, etc.) to actually enforce the laws against illegal immigration. The new official policy is to ignore any wrongdoing by illegal immigrants. Any enforcement official who tries to take an illegal immigrant to court over his wrongdoing runs the very real risk of being fired simply for the attempt, regardless of if any deportations actually occur.

    • Greg Thomas

      That’s exactly what it is. US Customs is one of the biggest minority hiring programs in the country. It should alarm all Americans who we have put in charge of defending our nation’s port of entries.

  • a multiracial individual

    Big burning buildings are scary (terrorist attacks), but loose immigration (especially from mexico) is terrifying.

    • Diamond_Lil

      If you live in SoCal, you’d find the illegal invasion revolting. This used to be a nice place to live.

  • guest

    This is no surprise. Considering how so many illegal immigrants have been coming into this country and have been living off government handouts, it has always been obvious that the people of DHS weren’t doing their jobs.

    • Nathanwartooth

      No trust me, they are doing their jobs. It’s just not quite the job we were hoping they would do.

  • MikeS

    DHS Admits It Does Not Do Sh!t. There, that’s better.

  • NYB

    Immigrants on public charge is what the financial elites want.

    An immigrant on public charge receives monies from the government. Through the mediums of rent, food, energy and other essential living items, those monies trickle up to the private hands of the wealthiest stakeholders in the economy.

    • Actually, it’s not just *private* hands–it’s probably mostly public hands. Government civil servants get rich (their departments get bigger and more important, and individual civil servant jobs become more secure) the more poor you have to take care of, so that’s why they’re so open border. “Government exists to solve the problems that it creates.” The DHS is not going to get rid of public charges, as it would be harming the job security of their brethren handling the food stamps.

    • MikeofAges

      That’s the bottom line. All welfare is corporate welfare. The reason why unwed and abandoned baby mamas are so scorned is because that’s all they can get. At this point, just about every human being in America in some way lives off the federal, state or local budget. Some receive great wealth. Some are granted a comfortable living. And the dregs get welfare.

      • NYB

        It’s all part of the $16 trillion debt. The government writes the I.O.U.s, the banks create the money, and the financial elites prosper. Who gets stuck with the debt? You and I.

        The elites will own the country, having purchased everything with borrowed money which we owe as ‘national debt’.

  • IstvanIN

    The federal and state government give immigrants, both legal and illegal, under two guises: 1) the Refugee Resettlement Program, NJ, for instance, has an Iraqi and Burmese shortage; 2) for their anchor babies. Mom drops a baby and receives all the goodies, not for her, but for her citizen child. That is how they get around the loop whole, the benefits are given on behalf of the newly minted citizen. Our government lies, and lies and lies.

  • liberalsuck

    Yes, DHS just couldn’t pay attention to all the illegals here sucking on the government tit. They were too busy instead purchasing over a billion rounds of hollow-point ammo with your tax dollars.

  • George

    So the DHS was asked direct, pointed questions about illegal immigrants receiving federal welfare monies. They were asked pointed, direct questions about what they had been doing to enforce the law. By United States Senators, charged by the people to represent them, and account for public monies and actions carried out in their name.

    The DHS ignored the questions.

    The question now is, what will these four senators do about it? A bigger question for everyone here is: will you write to these four senators, asking them (politely) not to let this matter rest? Will you ask them to protect you from the burden of these illegal public charges? Will you ask them to require the DHS to enforce the laws passed by Congress? Or will you just complain in here?

  • bigone4u

    When the government won’t obey the laws it doesn’t like, can anyone explain to me why I should obey the ones I don’t like? It’s called nullification and that’s what I am, a nullifier seeking to remain under Leviathan’s radar screen. (This story made me so mad, I put an expletive in front of the word “government”, but removed it out of respect for the moderator and Mr. Taylor. Still wish I could put it in though.)

  • Token Finn

    Diversity is our greatest stench.

  • mobilebay

    I have a dream. It is that every citizen of this country would notify the White House that they refuse to pay another penny in taxes until all illegal aliens are out of this country and legal immigrants are banned until all Americans are employed. They couldn’t put us all in prison.

    • Jackryanvb

      No. Don’t try to lobby the White House or make threats against Obama, threats that are never acted on. Now is the time to concentrate all of our resources targeting White Congressmen, White Senators and their staffs. Obama and BRA, LaRaza, the MSM like it when White tax payers get angry and lose. These anti White forces love to stick it to Whitey. They hate Whitey. Stop pandering, don’t make empty threats, don’t do the same old, same old wasting all your time on hopeless 3rd party presidential campaigns of really old Libertarian, Constitutionalists who never even win 1%and are usually as bad as Obama on immigration.

      • And, so it seems, we can’t and never really could trust middle aged semi-libertarian Constitutionalists anymore.

  • gumint check

    Obama Claus will fire any govt employee on the spot who takes a single one of voters off welfare.

  • NYB

    I see a double standard.
    If native born U.S. citizens failed to pay their taxes, the IRS would not just ignore it the way DHS ignores the financial obligations of immigrants.
    In the public interest, Immigrants who fail to be 100 percent viable should be pursued in the same manner as tax defaulters.

  • GeorgeRA

    So just who is DHS providing security for?

  • Sam

    The whole purpose of our current immigration system is to bring in as many welfare-dependent Democratic voters as physically possible.

    Europe is doing exactly the same thing. Every labor / socialist party in the Western world understands that third worlders are natural labor / socialist voters and will be eternally dependent on white taxpayers.

    If you want a third world country, with a powerful government class and lots of poor people and frightened rich people, you need a lot of third worlders.


  • SintiriNikos

    Somebody tell me wtf is the purpose of DHS if it can’t even do the most public service? Oh I know, spying on law-abiding citizens and random airport pat downs and porn scans of old ladies.

    • To give useless do nothing jobs to people with master’s degrees in Vietnamese poetry who now have $200k of student loan debt but no use for their degree in the real world job market.