Administration Ignoring Law Denying Visas To 'Likely' Welfare Recipients, Senator Says

Craig Bannister | October 19, 2012 | 1:31pm EDT
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The Obama administration is waiving a law that requires it to deny visas and entry to non-citizens who arelikely at any time to become” a government dependent – and is ignoring requests for information regarding this move, Sen. Jeff Sessions said today.

Sen. Sessions (R-AL), Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee, issued a statement after USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack missed the deadline to reply to oversight requests for data on expenditures for non-citizens on food stamps and information regarding the administration’s waiver of federal immigration law:

“Included in the oversight letter was a request for information about USDA’s contact with the Departments of State and Homeland Security regarding immigration law. Both DHS and DOS have effectively nullified the federal law that prohibits admission into the U.S. for those likely to become welfare reliant, further enabling USDA to surge non-citizen registration.”

“Such activities cannot be justified to the American people, which probably explains why the Administration has been unwilling to provide answers,” Sen. Sessions said.

According to section 212 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which defines “Classes of aliens ineligible for visas or admission”:

“Any alien who, in the opinion of the consular officer at the time of application for a visa, or in the opinion of the Attorney General at the time of application for admission or adjustment of status, is likely at any time to become a public charge is inadmissible.”

Sen. Sessions and three other senators had previously sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and State Department Secretary Hillary Clinton – which was also ignored - asking why the federal immigration law was not being followed.

Commenting on Napolitano’s and Clinton’s refusal to respond, Sen. Sessions said:

“Our initial assessment of State Department data on ‘public charge’ denials further indicates that eligibility standards are being waived.

“Given what we already know, and the otherwise inexplicable refusal for DHS to reply to such a simple inquiry, it necessarily suggests that the executive branch is trying to prevent the public from discovering its failure to follow U.S. immigration and welfare law.”

Editor's Note: The USDA has been asked to comment on its failure to reply to the senator's request, but has not yet done so.

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