The senators are demanding that DHS and the State Department provide answers to five questions no later than August 20.
Given the extraordinary implications for both our nation’s finances and the standards of U.S. citizenship, we ask that you provide information responsive to the following:
An explanation of why receipt of most welfare benefits is excluded from consideration of citizenship eligibility, and how this complies with the INA [Immigration and Nationalization Act] and congressional intent.
From 2001 to 2011, how many visa applicants and applicants for admission through the Visa Waiver Program were denied visas or admission because they were deemed likely to become a public charge?
From 2001 to 2011, how many visa applicants were found likely to become a public charge but were nevertheless granted a visa and admitted into the United States because they presented an affidavit of support?
How many aliens issued visas or otherwise admitted into the United States from 2001 to 2011 became public charges as defined by your agency after entering the United States?
If your answers to the above questions are that your agencies do not track this information, then please explain why this information is not tracked.
To Sessions, welfare runs counter to the principles of a sound immigration policy.
“I strongly believe that a fundamental principle of American immigration policy is that anyone who comes to America, anyone accepted to come to America is expected to be financially independent, not be dependent on government welfare programs,” he said. “If a person can’t sustain themselves then they shouldn’t be admitted.”
The Alabama senator added that between the open door policy on welfare and the active promotion of SNAP enrollment the country is facing a mountain of costs.
“There is no doubt in my mind that this situation along with others is the reason that food stamps have gone up four times in the last eleven years — the cost of food stamps has gone up four times in the last eleven years — and we have to confront this and bring this under control or it will eat us alive,” he said.