Illegal Alien Benefit Free-for-All
Apparently President Obama’s unilateral decision to grant de facto amnesty to five million illegal aliens was insufficiently outrageous. On Tuesday, a White House official told the Washington Post that many illegals now protected from deportation will be eligible to receive a “wide array” of government benefits, including Social Security and Medicare. The admission verifies that, once again, Americans are forced to endure another lie perpetrated by the president. When he announced his executive action last Thursday, Obama was adamant. “It does not grant citizenship, or the right to stay here permanently, or offer the same benefits that citizens receive – only Congress can do that. All we’re saying is we’re not going to deport you,” he insisted.
Apparently President Obama’s unilateral decision to grant de facto amnesty to five million illegal aliens was insufficiently outrageous. On Tuesday, a White House official told the Washington Post that many illegals now protected from deportation will be eligible to receive a “wide array” of government benefits, including Social Security and Medicare.
The admission verifies that, once again, Americans are forced to endure another lie perpetrated by the president. When he announced his executive action last Thursday, Obama was adamant. “It does not grant citizenship, or the right to stay here permanently, or offer the same benefits that citizens receive – only Congress can do that. All we’re saying is we’re not going to deport you,” he insisted.
Not exactly. The status conferred by the president activates the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, which states that the government “will pay monthly title II and title XVIII benefits to a claimant/beneficiary who is present in the U.S. and who is a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or lawfully present alien as determined by the Attorney General” (italics mine). It further states that payment provisions “apply to retirement, survivors or disability benefits. This rule also applies to payments made for Medicare services rendered.”
Illegals would be required to pay a Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) tax, which includes separate payments made to Medicare and Social Security. Once they do that, benefits await. “If they pay in, they can draw,” White House spokesman Shawn Turner told the Post by e-mail.
Turner further noted that such eligibility does not extend to benefits such as student financial aid, food stamps, housing subsidies or ObamaCare. Yet as critics of the president’s plan rightly explain, this administration’s “flexible” approach to the rule of law and the Constitution leaves the door wide open for additional “adjustments” to the program.
“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,” Federation of American Immigration Reform (FAIR) communications director Bob Dane told Breitbart News. “Congress has never imagined a rogue 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.”
If a recent ruling by a three-judge panel at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is any indication, there may be little relief in sight. On Monday, they rejected Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s request to rehear a case related to her 2012 executive order denying about 20,000 illegals access to drivers’ licenses. The Court determined that the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), allowing illegals brought here as children before June 15, 2007, and born after 1981 to be protected from deportation, included the right to obtain those licenses.
In other words, we already have exactly the kind of court-sanctioned “extrapolation” of a constitutionally-dubious executive order that completely belies Turner’s assertion. Thus it is more than likely a president interested in a “fundamental transformation” of the nation – one that includes the transparent attempt to make the Democrat Party an unassailable power – would be more than OK with pulling a few more “rabbits out of a hat” to realize that agenda.
According to the Heritage Foundation’s Robert Rector, the current level of benefit access imposes a staggering cost on the nation. “The net cost – which is total benefits minus total benefits paid in – of the amnesty recipients I estimate will be around $2 trillion over the course of their lifetime,” Rector told Breitbart News Monday. "What [Obama] is doing is he is putting these 4 million people – who on average have a 10th grade education – into the Social Security and Medicare programs. Given their expected earnings, from someone that has a 10th grade education, they will draw about three dollars worth of benefits out of those programs over their lifetimes for every dollar they put into them. But the overall cost in outlays will be around a trillion dollars for those programs alone,“ he added.
Rector’s calculations were based on a figure of 4 million illegals living an average of 50 years each. The additional trillion dollars of his estimate is based on an assumption that is the mother’s milk of the American left: incrementalism. Rector assumes that additional legislation – or another executive order – will eventually grant amnestied illegals unrestricted access to America’s welfare state. He further envisions that once the citizen children of the amnestied illegals turn 21, they could petition the government for green cards to be granted to their parents, without those parents having to leave the country to get them. "After 5 years with a green card status they are eligible for all the welfare programs,” he explained.
Ironically – or perhaps more accurately, inevitably – the push to expand amnestied illegals access to benefits will be driven by ObamaCare. As the Washington Times explains, the current executive order gives up to 5 million illegal immigrants three years of legal presence in the country that includes the ability to obtain work permits – but not ObamaCare. As a result businesses that hire amnestied illegals will not have to pay the $3000 ObamaCare penalty for denying them healthcare coverage. Since that penalty would apply to native-born workers, ObamaCare has established a perverse incentive to favor illegal employees over American employees.
Rep. Lamar Smith lamented that reality. “If it is true that the president’s actions give employers a $3,000 incentive to hire those who came here illegally, he has added insult to injury,” he contended. “The president’s actions would have just moved those who came here illegally to the front of the line, ahead of unemployed and underemployed Americans.”
Or as mentioned earlier, it would provide the administration with a springboard to expand ObamaCare coverage to include amnestied illegals. It doesn’t take much of an imagination to envision the administration pursuing mainstream media-assisted sales pitch that such a scenario is a “win-win” for illegals who get healthcare coverage, and American workers who no longer have to worry about that perverse incentive.
Republicans were ostensibly surprised that amnestied illegals would be eligible for Social Security and Medicare. “First with Obamacare we were told we should pass it and then read it to find out what was in it,” noted Republican National Committee (RNC) spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski. “Now Obama overreached and acted unilaterally on immigration, which should have been vetted and authorized by Congress, and we’re finding out there’s more to the story than Obama and the Democrats originally told Americans.”
All well and good, but one suspects Americans have little sympathy for a reactive GOP, one “finding out” that the same president and party who lie on a regular basis would once again engage in subterfuge to further their agenda. Credit the normally clueless Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) for having a clue this time around. McCain spokesman Brian Rogers said the best way to get rid of the loophole is to get rid of the employer mandate itself, adding that next year’s GOP majority should hold a vote on such a proposal.
That would theoretically put the president between a rock and a hard place – unless he unilaterally decided to grant temporary access to ObamaCare to amnestied illegals. There is little doubt a president who makes it up as he goes along would dismiss such an idea out of hand. Another solution would be to once again postpone the business mandate. Again, in the age of the Imperial President, all things are possible.
In the meantime, Obama reminded the nation why he remains one of the most divisive individuals to ever occupy the Oval Office. “There have been periods where the folks who were already here suddenly say, ‘Well, I don’t want those folks,’ even though the only people who have the right to say that are some Native Americans,” he told a Chicago audience Monday, completely dismissing the concerns of millions of Americans, including 62 percent of likely voters who opposed his unilateral efforts. He further insisted migrants “will boost wages for American-born workers.”
There are conflicting reports with regard to that statement, depending on whose ideology is being served. Yet the most basic rule of supply and demand cannot be ignored: when you have more of something, as in a larger pool of foreign and native-born workers competing for jobs, each unit of that something, in this case wage levels, are worth less. Yet as far as this president and his party are concerned, the well-being of Americans and illegals are now inseparable agendas. One is left to wonder how long American citizens will put up with that.
Originally published at FrontPage Magazine.
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