According to Sessions, however, the agency is “slow-walking” his request.
“The response is not adequate, and I fully expect more information and am distressed that some of this information should have been readily available and easy to submit already,” Sessions said in a Wednesday interview with TheDC.
Sessions added that it is interesting Vilsack did not offer a strong defense of the partnership in his response.
“I think that’s very notable since there was no defense in the whole idea of pushing American welfare programs in foreign consular offices,” Sessions said of Vilsack’s letter. “That goes against one of the fundamentals of our immigration policy, which is if people come to our country, they should have a sponsor or a job and not immediately go on support.”
When asked by TheDC when the agency will meet Session’s full request, USDA representative Alyn G. Kiel reiterated that the agency would respond when they are able.
“As stated in the letter, the request from Senator Sessions’ office requires a review of records dating back eight years,” Kiel wrote in an email to TheDC. “We are in the process of compiling the information and will respond as soon as we are able.”
Sessions intends to continue to push the agency for all the documents he requested and eventually hopes to bring about a real debate on the roll and functionality of all 80 welfare programs in America.
“I think it’s important for the American people to know that the United States Department of Agriculture is refusing to provide information on even their most recent meetings with Mexican officials on this subject, as late as February,” Sessions concluded. “I think the Department of Agriculture is not — they serve the American people and if the American people are providing the money that they’re dispersing and the American people ought to be entitled to know precisely how they’re administering and distributing these taxpayer funded benefits.”
Read the U.S.-Mexico partnership here: