By PAUL BEDARD
Poor Illegal immigrants get food stamps denied to poor U.S. citizens, $2 billion worth: Illegal immigrant households tapping into the federal food stamp program are receiving $1.4 billion to $2.1 billion a year despite their ineligibility, according to a new analysis of the Agriculture Department program.
And rules guiding who can get food stamps favor households with illegal immigrants over all-U.S. citizen homes, according to the detailed report from the Center for Immigration Studies released Monday morning.
CIS expert David North has determined that 460,000 to 700,000 households with mix of legal and illegal immigrants are participating in the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, or SNAP.
He said that food stamp benefits average about $255 a month per household, suggesting that the the yearly payout to households with illegals ranges from $1.4 billion to $2.14 billion. CNBC.com Mon, Jul 11 3:00 AM PDT
Although two families may be identical in terms of income and family size, states have the option of including only part of the wages of an employed ineligible alien when calculating SNAP eligibility. Those states which do not count all the income of the ineligible aliens make it easier for a family with an illegal alien present to qualify for food stamps than for an identical all-citizen family. Ineligible aliens, in the food stamp program, are primarily illegal aliens and those green card holders who have been in that status for less than five years.
David North, a fellow with the Center and author of the report, said, "A bias exists against those here legally when calculating eligibility for food stamps. This overt bias, which most legislators are probably not even aware of, translates into an estimated 1.4 billion dollar cost to tax payers."